Former President Flt. Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings has received a Lifetime Achievement Award for his invaluable contribution to the energy sector.
The posthumous award, which was presented at the 5th Ghana Energy Awards in Accra, was received on his behalf by his daughter, DrZanetorAgyeman-Rawlings, Member of Parliament of KlotteyKorle Constituency, and son, KimathiAgyeman-Rawlings.
In a citation, the late president was commended for his untiring efforts in pushing the frontiers of energy in Ghana and initiating the reform and restructuring of the energy sector.
It further recognised the former president for diversifying the energy sector from solely hydro-electric generation to include thermal and the conceptualisation of the participation of independent power producers through the Ghana Power Sector Development Policy.
“At a time when only ten percent of Ghanaians had access to electricity, you committed yourself to extend access to the rest of the country through the ambitious national electrification scheme, a project that saw the VRA extend grid lines from Kumasi to Brong-Ahafo, Northern and Upper regions and by taking over the distribution of electric power through its new subsidiary the Northern Electricity Department, to Northern consumers.
This singular initiative helped to slow down rural-urban migration and boosted economic development in the newly supplied areas,” the citation stated.
Additionally, the citation highlighted the role of the former president in the establishment of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) and the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST).
In a speech, Dr Agyemang-Rawlings noted that her father’s vision did not die with his passing nor did it die with the end of his tenure in office.
The KlotteyKorle legislator said President Rawlings’ legacy was not his alone but also for all Ghanaians.
She said the late Rawlings made immense contributions towards establishing a solid foundation of power generation for Ghana, adding that that foundation had been the basis upon which all subsequent governments have benefitted and built upon.
President Rawlings, Dr Agyeman-Rawlings disclosed, believed that it was empty rhetoric to attempt to change a country if it had no means of generating sufficient power to sustain itself and develop its industries.
Dr. Agyeman-Rawlings recounted how in the mid-1980s, Chairman Rawlings having concluded that the contract between Ghana and VALCO, for the use of the country’s hydro-electric energy was not beneficial to Ghana, constituted a team led by Professor Akilakpa Sawyer to seek a review of the agreement.
She noted that the future of Ghana was energy and it was encouraging to see the country was going down the renewable path.