In West Africa, Ghana’s vice president Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur noted that over the years as the efforts to up access to electricity has improved, so too have power tariffs increased.
Amissah-Arthur spoke about the issues of electricity access while he was addressing delegates at the annual meeting organised by the Association of Power Utilities in Africa (APUA), reports local radio station.
The politician pleaded with utility providers across the continent to consider the cost of power in order to accommodate the poor in providing electricity access to all.
Electricity access in high demand
The media reported that Amissah-Arthur also noted that power consumption in Africa has augmented threefold over the last decade.
He advised utility providers to consider the needs of consumers, adding “customer expectations keep rising and so power utilities must appreciate that the modern economy depends on reliable power and affordable power.
“Consumers have rising expectations because the standards have increased and our dependence on power is increasing and so we must consider this,” he said.
Electricity tariffs keep rising
In recent media reports, some Ghanaians complained about the high cost of electricity tariffs in the country, with some demonstrating against the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to reduce the tariffs.
In response to these protests, Ghana’s power ministry released a statement explaining that the ECG has only done what it calls a realignment of their billing system to bring some relief to consumers.
“In many of our countries [in the region], there are large segments of the population that cannot just afford to pay the electricity tariffs that you are asking for so the circumstances of your clients need to be taken into consideration in setting the tariffs,” he said.
He continued: “If you do not, electricity or power will become available only to wealthy people and not to the poor or rural residents. Such discrimination certainly restricts the development of our society.”