Major German companies specialised in energy efficiency will be in the country this year to undertake an audit of public lighting needs and look for local partners to invest to bridge the gap.
The lighting project, a major initiative of the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Ghana AHK (representing the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce under the auspices of the German Ministry of Economics and Technology), will bring in a total of eight giant companies from Germany to conduct a special market survey on public lighting, including lighting streets, hospitals, universities, lorry parks and other places.
The survey will subsequently lead to identifying the potential for cooperation with local agencies and authorities which would use German public funds to pre-finance a chosen public lighting project.
“The study will have to find out who are the potential projects and the counterparts. There is already one of the companies that has identified a project, but is only waiting for an expression of interest from a ministry or local assembly before they come in with German public funds to execute the project,” the Delegate of German Industry and Commerce in Ghana, Mr Patrick Martens, told the Daily Graphic in an interview in Accra.
He said the lighting project mission was expected in country in July this year, with two groups; the first part for bilateral meetings as well as an event to share information during which other trade missions from German Federal States such the State of Munich or Bavaria Region, one of the industrial power houses of Germany, would join in.
Mr Martens said the AHK project would be based on energy efficiency and renewable energy use, saying “these projects are specific and target oriented.”
According to him, the German government invited proposals from AHK offices and selected from them, the reason the mission would be in Ghana for the study in order to put in credible proposals.
Ghana has passed an act on renewable energy which seeks to achieve 10 per cent energy generation from renewable sources in its generation mix by 2020 as stipulated in the Renewable Energy Act 2011, Act 832.
With energy knowledge, technology and solutions on energy efficiency and renewable energy at the disposal of Germany, it supports such lighting projects in developing countries such as Ghana to move country efforts forward.
Mr Martens said the Lighting survey and project in Ghana would also help to lift capacity within the country and the AHK Ghana office.
Besides an energy efficiency expert to be detailed to Ghana and more German interns, the AHK office would also recruit more staff members, including a qualified graduate with a science background from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
Last year, the AHK organised its first international event in Ghana, the West African Clean Energy & Environment Exhibition and Conference (WACEE’12) and also embarked on trade missions to Germany which have combined to kindle the interest of German companies to use Ghana as their gateway to West Africa.
Mr Martens expressed the view that in the next few years the economic cooperation and investments between Ghana and Germany would increase, with more German companies coming in, while Ghana increases its exports to Germany and Europe.