The Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) has organised the second phase of a capacity-building workshop on the energy transition framework for a number of civil society organisations (CSOs) and media actors.
This stage focused on the impact of the energy transition on Ghana’s domestic resource mobilisation, with the goal of evaluating revenue mobilisation opportunities for other critical minerals.
The workshop, held in Koforidua, the eastern regional capital, also looked into fiscal policy advocacy opportunities for CSOs on the country’s energy transition.
Addressing participants, Dr. Alex Ampaabeng, Senior Economic Analyst at NRGI, stated that Ghana had the critical minerals that the world needed to transition, thus; manganese, iron, and lithium, and that, “we need to take full advantage of the fact that we can also contribute to the transition in terms of supplying minerals.”
He said it was past time for the country to enact the necessary legislation, establish the necessary structures, and restructure how critical minerals could be managed.
He suggested to the government to invest more in renewable energy so that the revenue lost from fossil fuels was offset by the investment made in the renewable sector.
“If Ghana keeps delaying, chances are that we are going to play catch-up game. We have to move at our own pace, our country specific issues,” he said, but added, “We can’t do away with the fact that the country is part of the global community, where everybody is transitioning, and we can also do that.”
He urged agencies to make significant efforts to educate people about the energy transition and again suggested that the Ghana Education Service included energy-related activities in their curriculum for senior high school students.
He defined the energy transition as the global energy sector’s shift away from fossil-based systems of energy production and consumption, such as oil, natural gas, and coal, and towards renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, as well as lithium-ion batteries.
“This will ensure that Ghana meets its quota for reducing global Green House Gas (GHG) emissions while also achieving decarbonization, energy access and security, and energy efficiency,” he said.
Dr. Steve Manteaw, Policy Analyst and Co-Chair of the Ghana Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (GHEITI), bemoaned the country’s obsession with extractive industry taxation, arguing that non-tax revenue pathways allowed for greater value retention within the Ghanaian economy.
And that, in turn, could increase the sector’s contribution to the total financing requirement of the energy transition, reducing the country’s reliance on external sources.
To maximise its value retention in the mining sector, he advised that the government should align its flagship industrialization programme, “One District, One Factory,” with the mining sector’s local content opportunities.
He explained that “Ghana needs to develop its manufacturing capability to supply mine inputs, and to add value to its outputs,” emphasizing, “Such an approach, will not only create jobs for mining host communities, but will also enhance export values, and integrate mining operations..”
According to Dr. Robert Sogbaji, Deputy Director, Nuclear and Alternative Energy, the energy transition is accompanied by policies categorised as decarbonization, energy efficiency, energy security, and cross-cutting, adding, “The policies are there, and we are to implement them under the energy transition secretariat, which will be under the office of the President.”
He stressed that when it comes to decarbonization, there were policies in place to ensure the use of clean energy, such as renewable energy, tree planting, carbon capture technology, and gas as a transition fuel.
In terms of energy security, he stated, “We diversify our energy mix, we introduce nuclear energy to ensure resilience; and the cross-cutting we are saying that the energy transition will be decentralised, so that implementation will be at the district level.”
Members of the Africa Centre for Energy Policy, Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), TV3, Ghana News Agency, Daily Graphic, Civil Society Organization on Oil and Gas Platform (CSPOG), A Rocha Ghana, and Oil Watch Ghana were among those who attended the workshop.