University of Ghana Hosts World Universities Network-SEN-Africa Electricity Access Workshops

A group Photograph of the WUN SEN-Africa Team

The University of Ghana has hosted the Sustainable Electricity-access Network for Africa (SEN-Africa) workshop series for both the southern and northern sectors on the 13th and 15th August, 2019 in Accra and Tamale respectively. The SEN-Africa project which is funded through the World Universities Network’s Research Development Fund (WUN RDF) is made up of researchers from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of Ghana, University of Nairobi, University of Cape Town, Argonne National Laboratory and Carnegie Mellon University. (

A group Photograph of Southern Sector participants

A group Photograph of Northern Sector participants

In his opening remarks, the University of Ghana WUN Coordinator, Prof. Andrew Anthony Adjei, stated that, the WUN RDF offers seed funding grants to launch longer-term research collaborations, exploratory research initiatives, targeted workshops, faculty exchanges, and the formation of collaborative networks, among other activities within the WUN Global Challenges. He lauded the involvement of the multidisciplinary University of Ghana researchers (Engineering, Physics and Business School) in the SEN-Africa project and assured the continued support of the University of Ghana to the World Universities Network initiative.

Prof. Andrew Anthony Adjei (WUN-UG) Coordinator addressing the participants present

The overarching goal of the SEN-Africa research programme is to develop a comprehensive modelling framework to serve as a blueprint for the attainment of sustainable energy access in Africa from perspectives of Affordability, Reliability, Supply, Quantity and Quality. For this reason, and to develop a workable framework, the two (2) one-day long workshops were organized to solicit views from major stakeholders of electricity generation, supply and demand in Ghana to understand the challenges as well as opportunities for improving energy access in Ghana.

The workshop engaged different stakeholder groups in the electricity ecosystem (policy holders, power producers and distributors as well as consumers) in an open discussion but tailored to understanding their vision and valuation of each of the five components of electricity access.  Some of the stakeholders who participated in the workshops included Energy Commission, Electricity Company of Ghana, Ministry of Energy, Millennium Development Authority (MiDA), Volta River Authority (VRA), Ghana Grid Company (GridCo), Northern Electricity Company (NEDCO), Association of Ghana Industries, Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), Chiefs and Community leaders.

The various discussion groups were asked to prioritize their investment needs according to constraint budgets in the electricity sector. Among the key factors relevant for sustainable delivery of reliable electricity as identified by participants were, investment into equipment maintenance, smart electrical systems to reduce cost by reducing power theft, research, etc.


A cross-section of participants

The team also undertook a familiarisation tour of the VRA-NEDCO Solar Power Plant at Navrongo in the Upper East Region of northern Ghana. Similar workshops and surveys will be carried out in other African countries.