Access to electricity is one of the key indicators of development worldwide. It is the focus of sustainable development goal 7 which is about ensuring access to clean and affordable energy.
In April 2023, World Bank’s Africa’s Pulse Report indicated that Ghana has one of the highest access to electricity rates in sub-Saharan Africa, above Kenya, Senegal, Cote D’Ivoire, and Nigeria.
Given its direct impact on productivity and the recent history of power outages in Ghana, access to electricity has been a major issue of public concern. Successive governments have over the year made promises about improving access. Public conversations and debates about how much various governments have improved rate of access to electricity have often occupied the media airwaves.
At the fourth edition of the Founders’ Day luncheon on August 4, 2023, President Akufo-Addo stated that despite the country’s challenges, there has been an improvement in both access to electricity and water.
“Yes, there are difficulties, but let us not forget that 88 percent of Ghanaians presently have access to safe water, the national electricity access rate increased from 79.3 percent in 2016 to 88.54 percent in 2022, making us among the top six in Africa, and we are still expecting to achieve the 90 percent universal access rate by 2024.”
Even though data from the Energy Commission shows the electricity access rate was higher than 79.3 percent in 2016, it indeed shows a gradual improvement annually.
The President’s statement has once again brought up conversations on how much the current and previous governments have added to the rate of access to electricity.
In this report, Fact-Check Ghana presents the data on how much improvement President Akufo-Addo and his New Patriotic Party (NPP) government have made in the proportion of the population with access to electricity since coming to power six years ago in 2017. The data will be compared with the improvement recorded under the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) Atta Mills-John Mahama administrations during the same duration prior to the incumbent government coming into power.
Below is the tabular representation of the data:
Source: Energy Commission
Before the NPP took office in January 2017, the proportion of the population with access to electricity was 83.2% at the end of 2016. Six years into the rule of President Akufo-Addo, as of the end of 2022, the access rate stood at 88.8%. This represents an increase of 5.6%.
When the data is compared to the NDC’s tenure in office from former Presidents John Atta Mills to John Mahama, from 2011 (72%) to 2016 (83.2%), the cumulative contribution to electricity access was 11.2%.
From the data above, in the last 12 years, the proportion of the Ghanaian population with access to electricity has been increasing every year. When compared with the Atta Mills and John Mahama administrations (11.2%), the Akufo Addo government added 5.6% in the access to electricity rate in the last six years.