Digitalizing Decision-making to Increase Energy Access in Ghana

Power Africa
3 min readDec 8, 2022
Power lines in Ghana. Photo Credit Ministry of Energy

Despite significant progress in mobile connectivity, sub-Saharan Africa lags in digitalizing its energy systems to improve data accuracy, boost efficiency, and streamline national infrastructure projects. This gap hinders progress towards global goals like reaching universal energy access.

Power Africa is helping countries achieve these goals by connecting governments to digital systems that allow for effective data-driven decision-making.

For Ghana’s Ministry of Energy, access to reliable data of the country’s physical power systems is proving to be the key to unlocking the challenge of rural electrification. Through its National Electrification Program, Ghana aims to achieve universal electricity access by 2025, by focusing on last-mile connections in 3,000 rural communities.

To streamline this effort, Power Africa worked with the Ministry of Energy to develop a data-driven inventory management system (IMS) that supports the effective management of components and materials for electrification projects. This digitized stock-taking process replaced Ghana’s decentralized and manual inventory system, and is providing decisionmakers with more accurate and real-time access to the distribution of energy equipment.

Screenshot of the IMS homepage

The new IMS is enhancing Ghana’s electrification program by:

Improving inventory management: The Ministry of Energy can now review high-quality, real-time electrification project data, monitor material levels at every warehouse, and track project and EPC contracts.

Enabling anywhere, anytime data access: The IMS features a location-intelligent app, which can be installed on any mobile or tablet device to track the flow of materials and maintain communication with consultants and contractors.

Providing comprehensive data analytics: The Ministry of Energy can generate easy-to-navigate reports and dashboards for forecasting and planning.

Power Africa built the IMS on innovative open-source technology, which allows for scalability and long-term development support. Using off-the-shelf technology is also more cost-effective. Power Africa’s support saved the Ministry of Energy approximately $100,000, compared to the cost of hiring a third-party technology vendor.

This assistance came at a crucial time for Ghana, as the Ministry of Energy had temporarily paused the release of electrification materials to allow for a more thorough review of its physical assets. Power Africa’s support enabled the Ministry of Energy to lift the embargo to facilitate more electricity connections for homes and businesses.

“The IMS ensures effective management and monitoring of the Self-Help Electrification Program for electrification projects, which will impact connections to more than 3,000 communities across the country,” Wilhelmina Asamoah, Acting Chief Director of the Ministry of Energy.

Once IMS was in place Power Africa and the Ministry of Energy developed a deployment plan and led capacity-building and training efforts for the system rollout to more than 45 people. The Ministry now has assigned designated staff responsible for overseeing the operations and support of the IMS.

Power Africa’s support in creating the IMS is part of our overall digitalization efforts across the energy sector in West Africa. Moving from paper-based to digital-based solutions streamlines efforts and allows everyone from contractors to policymakers to better input, track, and visualize data.

Most importantly, countries like Ghana can move forward in their electrification efforts and take a step closer to their universal electricity access goals. IMS demonstrates the deep potential of real-time and accurate data to empower governments and power communities across the region.

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Power Africa

A U.S. Government-led partnership that seeks to add 30,000 MW and 60 million electricity connections in sub-Saharan Africa by 2030 > https://bit.ly/2yPx3lJ