From: George-Ramsey Benamba, GNA Special Correspondent in Abu Dhabi

Mr. Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, the Minister of Energy and Petroleum, on Tuesday gave the assurance that government will embark on an effective renewable policy as it is cheaper and beneficial to all sectors of the economy.

He said the achievement of such goals hinge on the effective partnerships that government will have with the private sector in the country and beyond.

Mr. Buah, who was speaking to the Ghana News Agency in an interview after attending the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Renewable Energy conference, said his experience at the conference demonstrated that renewable energy is much cheaper.

He added: “We shall pursue this policy by encouraging private sector participation to supply power to rural communities that are not connected to the national power grid.”

The Minister said private sector participation is necessary to achieve all the energy targets of government, and to make the country a hub and major energy exporter in the years to come.

He expressed satisfaction that the TAQA Group of Companies has shown interest in upscaling their investment in Ghana, and assured them of government’s cooperation and support to achieve their targets in the country.

Mr. Buah said the government will continue to form partnership with companies within the country and beyond to ensure that all its energy development targets are met to reduce the perennial energy fluctuation in the country.

President John Dramani Mahama is among other world leaders who are participating in the renewable energy conference.

Also in attendance were Hamdam bin Mohammed Al- Maktoum, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, among other dignitaries.

The opening session focused on the rise of the United Arab Emirates in the areas of culture, construction, education, sustainable access to water and job-creation, and how those measures can be implemented in Africa to enhance the continent’s socio-economic development.

It is estimated that the world population will rise to 8 billion by 2030, and this would call for increases in demand of 30 percent for potable water, 50 percent for energy and 50 percent for food.

As a result, Africa is seen as the next growth pole on account of its endowment in those natural resources, giving an indication that the world will focus on the continent for survival and growth.

The conference will therefore give the UAE an opportunity to share its expertise and experience with developing African countries to take advantage and develop their resources.

As the host of the international Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the UAE has been actively involved in encouraging the widespread adoption of renewable energy.

The first sustainability conference held last year attracted 30,000 participants from 150 countries.

The main agenda of the conference is to tackle the world’s pressing issues in energy, water and environment, and accelerate the global adoption of renewable energy and sustainable development.

It is also expected to address water challenges in the arid regions of the world. At the end of the three- day conference, participants will be expected to stimulate investment in water, energy and environment projects, and to empower young generations and entrepreneurs.

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