The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission and Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) Tuesday opened the Centre of Excellence in Public Utility Regulation (CEPUR).
The educational research and consultancy Centre is to serve as a citadel of training to develop the competencies and expertise of people in regulation and governance for the electricity, water, natural gas, and other public utility sectors.
The Centre, which would function with funds from the Commission, GIMPA, fees and donor support, would deliver programmes leading to the award of certificates in different areas in utility regulation and management.
CEPUR would also engage cutting-edge research for investment and policy decision making in the utilities value chain in Ghana and other countries on the African continent.
Speaking at the opening of the centre, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Minister of Energy, said the establishment of the Centre was timely and relevant as it would help to meet the demands of emerging dynamics in the utilities space.
He said the growing changes in the energy sector, including the energy transition and energy security concerns, required competent and skillful workforce, ready to help position Ghana and Africa to secure sustainable outcomes for future generations.
“My Ministry has already taken the lead in developing and implementing a roadmap for energy transition in Ghana. The opening of this Centre will, therefore, provide the necessary support to develop the skills necessary to achieve Africa’s energy vision,” Mr Opoku Prempeh said.
He charged that CEPUR found innovative and effective ways to collaborate with industry and the corporate world to engage in quality and strategic studies to provide practical solutions to real issues and actualise research findings to develop the Ghanaian economy.
Mr Ebo Quagraine, Board Chairman, PURC, said, having worked closely with many institutions in research, innovation, and development of regulatory systems for the past 25 years, the collaboration with GIMPA would also yield positive results.
He said the establishment of CEPUR was in line with PURC’s resolve to contribute to national development through research, peer learning and capacity development of all players within the utilities sector.
Mr Quagraine said: “For us, this partnership is essential in our quest to achieve and sustain regulatory excellence,” adding that with the right tools, desire, and knowledge, the committed African would be capable to manage its affairs.
Professor Samuel Kwaku Bonsu, Rector, GIMPA, pledged that the Centre would conduct high-level policy-relevant research and encourage scholarly and public dialogues on utility regulation.
He said the Centre would also be a leading point of ideas and policies to support not only Ghana’s PURC but similar institutions across the continent, noting that steps had been initiated towards making the CEPUR part of a global network of utilities research centres.
“The launch of the Centre coincides with our planned restructuring of the GIMPA school of Public Service into a hub of intellectual activities focused on the business of government and parastatal organisations.”