On February 27, Ambassador Stephanie Sullivan reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to support the transformational Ghana beyond Aid agenda during the landmark Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) – Power Distribution Services (PDS) transfer ceremony. Beginning on March 1, 2019, this 20-year private concession will help restructure the Ghanaian energy sector through true private sector participation, servicing the needs of four million customers, individual households and businesses alike. Now in its third year of implementation, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Ghana Power Compact is the largest U.S. Government transaction under the Power Africa initiative, totaling in $537 million from MCC and the Government of Ghana and having leveraged another $580 million from private operator PDS.
Read Ambassador Sullivan’s full remarks below.
ECG-PDS Handing Over Ceremony
Ambassador Stephanie S. Sullivan
As Prepared Remarks
Electro-Volta House Cafeteria – ECG
Wednesday, February 27, 2019, 10:00 AM
Good Morning. I’m truly delighted to be here today in anticipation of the March 1 transfer deadline from state-owned power distribution company ECG to private operator Power Distribution Services Ghana Ltd (PDS). The transfer will mark the beginning of the 20-year private concession. Today, we celebrate this crucial milestone we have reached together.
We acknowledge the vision of and congratulate the leadership of the Vice President, MiDA and its Board, the dedicated staff at ECG, and the formidable team at PDS.
Now in its third year of implementation, the Ghana Power Compact is the largest U.S. Government transaction under the Power Africa initiative. It is unique in its purpose to help restructure the Ghanaian energy sector through true private sector participation. Over the remaining two and a half years of the Compact, MCC will continue to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in the sector.
The United States is committed to fully supporting Ghana in this immensely ambitious, complex, and transformational agenda to move Ghana Beyond Aid.
Why does completion of the Ghana Power Compact matter, you may ask?
Completing the Compact will:
- Enhance the everyday lives of ordinary Ghanaians by improving the supply of reliable power;
- Power Ghana for accelerated and sustainable economic growth;
- Increase private sector investment and productivity through reliable and stable power; and
- Create better opportunities for self-employment by stimulating economic growth.
As of March 1, 2019, PDS will bring to bear the skills and capital of the private sector to the long-term management and operations of southern Ghana’s massive power distribution network, servicing the needs of four million customers, individual households and businesses alike.
The concession has been structured with the interests of Ghana’s present and future at heart – a clear example of leveraging the private sector as Ghana moves beyond aid. While the United States, through the Millennium Challenge Corporation, U.S. Agency for International Development, and the U.S. Trade & Development Agency, has granted significant resources to support the power sector, we do so knowing that donor dollars are not sustainable. Rather, under the concession terms, PDS will invest a minimum of $580 million US Dollars into the power distribution network during its first five years of operation alone, more than matching the combined $535 million US Dollars committed by the U.S. government and the Government of Ghana under the MCC Power Compact.
In addition to this major influx of private capital, PDS will operate and maintain existing ECG assets and provide sustainability for new MCC-funded assets for the next twenty years. That’s right, the next twenty years.
I am told there is an African proverb that says, “Tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.” Indeed, this private sector solution will increase reliability, access, and affordability – and will positively impact economic growth well into the future by promoting increased trade and investment.
Today marks another important milestone under the MCC Compact. But change will not happen overnight, and there remains much work to be done to stabilize this critical sector of the economy, on which so much else depends. For Ghana to succeed in its transition to enterprise driven development, PDS must be successful.
As we celebrate the imminent transfer from ECG to PDS, let us keep in mind the Adinkra symbol “akoma ntoso,” linked hearts representing understanding and agreement.
We needed both to get where we are today, and we must achieve the transfer by the March 1 deadline to make the concession a reality.
As noted on the Ghana Power Compact website, meeting the transfer deadline brings us closer to having the power to: Enjoy your passion, shape your life, grow business, earn a livelihood, change destinies and save lives.
Here’s to new beginnings, future growth, the potential of PDS, and the continued strong partnership between the United States and Ghana.