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Politics of Sunday, 31 July 2016

Source: GNA

Political parties welcome Citizens Energy Manifesto

Five political parties have welcomed the launch of the Citizens Energy Manifesto by the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) that outlines Ghanaians views and agenda for on the country’s energy sector development.

The parties are the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the Convention Peoples’ Party (CPP), Peoples’ National Convention (PNC) and the Progressive Peoples’ Party (PPP).

The manifesto was developed after extensive consultation processes that involved public forums attended by different political and socio-economic actors in the Northern, Ashanti and Western Regions.

Participants, included women, youth and persons with physical disability expressed their opinion and concerns on how the political parties could address the challenges confronting the petroleum and power sectors.

Dr Ishmael Ackah, the Head of Policy Unit ACEP, said the manifesto sees the energy sector as one of the critical sectors relevant for charting strong socio-economic development paths for the country.

He said it ushered in an era in which elections become platforms for generating policy reforms, building political consensus on policies and creating an effective mechanism for holding elected officials accountable.

Dr Ackah said the manifesto process took a more futuristic and consultative approach of social accountability, to take policy discussions out of the arena of expert and scholarly opinions to direct engagement with citizens on their expectations from the next political party in power.

Mr Koku Anyidoho, the Deputy General Secretary of the NDC, congratulated ACEP for launching the document, saying it would help inform the party to consider the concerns of the public in developing an appropriate response for the energy sector.

“This is critical because Ghana belongs to Ghanaians and the need to welcome different opinions to build consensus and build a strong energy sector for development,” he added.

Mr Freddie Blay, the Acting Chairman of the NPP, said the country’s capacity to generate energy is low and that there is the need for stakeholders to work together to address challenges in the energy sector.

He said the party is ready to work with stakeholders to address the energy challenges and commended ACEP for spearheading the course of transparency and accountability in the energy sector.

Pro Edmund Delle, Chairman of the CPP, said the party’s energy team would study the document and make good use of the contents by adding it to its energy manifesto for 2016.

Mr Bernard Monah, Chairman of the PNC said oil is an exhaustible resource and could be depleted, calling for government to invest in other portfolio for future benefit.

Nii Allotey Brew Hammond, the Chairman of PPP expressed worry about the failure of successive governments to address the energy situation.

He said party would study the document and see how best it could address some of the concerns raised by the public.

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