“We can fix the challenge” – John Mahama
President John Mahama has patted Ghanaians on the back for “bearing” with his government in these challenging times of erratic power supply.
He reiterated his resolve to fix the blackout “permanently” by adding on to the national grid after the completion of a number of thermal projects throughout the country.
Speaking at the 20th Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) awards in Accra, Saturday, Mahama noted Ghana has suffered “reverses with our power supply” over the years, which has adversely affected businesses, but his government is on course to make blackout a thing of the past.
“We can fix the challenge with the support of all Ghanaians. It is possible to have quick fixes, but what we need is a permanent fix,” the president stressed.
“Thanks to Ghanaians for bearing with the situation and also having a sense of humour in times like this. Power shortage has not been a very comfortable situation for our people.”
He stated: “If power supply could be very easily be procured off the shelves I would have fixed this challenge long time ago… Ghana’s power crisis is as a result of multifaceted issues – climate change, downtime, reliability of fuel supply such as gas from pipeline and inefficiency from some of our utility companies.”
“Going forward therefore our main source of power supply will be thermal and hydro will become supplementary… We will depend a lot more on non-hydro power… The whole power value change must be reformed,” Mahama told the gathering of media practitioners.
He mentioned some thermal and power projects which are expected to come on stream by the close of 2015 and next year which will make power supply in Ghana a constant affair: the 225 MW from Karpower plant, the 370 MW power from ABSA power, 10 MW TEI Project, 300 MW GEL power project, the Kpong Generating plant will add 220 MW, Asogli plant phase II will add 320 MW to the national grid.
The president called on the media to educate Ghanaians about some of the interventions the government is embarking on to resolve the ‘dumsor’ issue.
On the media landscape, Mahama observed journalism has improved over the years, but maintained there is more room for improvement. “We need to introduce better regulation for the broadcast media to improve our national discourse,” Mahama said.
The overall winner was Joy FM’s Seth Kwame Boateng whose documentary on the country’s prisons led to a massive overhaul of the conditions at the detention facilities in Ghana.
The CEO of Ideal Finance – the lead sponsors – Dr. Nii Kotei Dzani disclosed his company has made provisions to train 20 journalists this year “in any part of the world”.
GJA Komla Dumor Most Promising Journalist of the Year – Seth Kekeli Bokpe (Daily Graphic)
Arts and Tourism – Rebecca Awuah (GBC 24)
Court and Crime – Elvis Darko
Anti-corruption – Mabel Aku Banasseh
Education (Electronic) – Wendy Laryea (TV3)
Environment – Daniel Manor (Chronicle)
Investigative reporting – Kwetey Nartey (Joy FM)
Features (Print) – Jemila Oketchiri (Daily Guide)
Features (TV) – Seth Kwame Boateng (Multi-TV)
SME reporting – Zadok Kwame Gyesi (Daily Graphic)
MDG reporting – Samuel Adade (GNA)
Narcotics – Kwetey Nartey (Joy FM)
Sanitation Reporting – Dela Ocloo (Daily Graphic)
Digital Journalism – Wendy Laryea (TV3)
Photojournalism – David Andoh (Myjoyonline)
Science reporting – Gabriel Ahiagboh (Daily Graphic)
Poverty Alleviation – Joseph Opoku Gakpo (Joy FM)
Human Rights – Joseph Opoku Gakpo (Joy FM)
Agriculture reporting – Gabriel Ahiagboh (Daily Graphic)
Features (radio) – Seth Kwame Boateng (Joy FM)
Rural reporting (Child labour) – Kafui Kanyi (GNA)
Rural reporting (main category) – Alberto Mario (Ghanaian Times)
Human rights – Abdul Hayi Moomen (GBC 24)
Education – Doreen Hammond (Daily Graphic)
News (Print) – Samuel K Boateng (Daily Graphic)
Disability reporting – Ayeley Ayitey (TV Africa)
Ga reporting – Nii Adjeiklu (Obonu FM)
Health reporting – Nana Konadu Agyemang (Daily Graphic)
Oil and Gas reporting – Moses Akrobotu (Daily Graphic)
Business and Finance – Felix Klutse (Business Day)
Sports reporting – Benedict Owusu (Joy FM)
Local Governance – Rebecca Ekpe (GBC Radio)