28 October 2009 – The West African Power Pool (WAPP) could  be the catalyst to supply electricity to 90% of Ghanaians, the local organising committee chairman said this week. Speaking at a press conference, Eng Kirk Koffi told reporters that only 60% of Ghanaians have access to electricity and 20% of the 24 million people living in 14 mainland West Africa countries have access to grid-supplied electricity. This lack of electricity impacts on economic growth and business development.

WAAP’s mandate is to provide a regional electricity market and to promote regional investment for power production and the interconnection of networks.  Its objective is to promote power system infrastructure development in West Africa.  

At present, WAPP is planning the construction of generation projects which include a 450MW Maria Gleta Thermal Plant in Benin, a 440MW Aboadze Thermal Plant in Togo, and Adjarala Thermal Plant in Togo. The Akosombo and Kpong switchyard upgrade and an emergency preparedness and environmental management plan for Akosombo, Kpong and Nangbeto are still ongoing. Other plans are to rehabilitate the Cranes and Penstocks at the Akosombo Switchyard and to expand and improve facilities at the VRA Training School at Akuse to make it a centre of excellence.

WAPP is also promoting the implementation of various projects as part of the WAPP infrastructural Development Programme. These are the 330kV WAPP Coastal Transmission Backbone Project (CTB) to significantly improve the power transfer capacity from Ghana to Nigeria through Togo and Benin.  Cross- border supply of electricity to rural communities in Burkina Faso from Ghana, and the cross- border supply of electricity to rural communities in Togo from Ghana are also being implemented.

The projects are being funded by the African Development Bank, (AfDB), and World Bank and managed by the Coordinating Secretariat of WAPP.