Powering Ghana? "Dumsor", a study of electricity and its absence


Claudia Prempeh

Research Area:


In 2010, Ghana was considered one of the fastest growing and stable economies in the world. Following a notable annual economic growth rate of about 5 per cent over the past five years, the economic prospects were indeed projected to be very bright. But now Ghana is experiencing a decline in growth because of erratic power cuts.  The manufacturing sector declined by 8 per cent in 2014. This has spurred policy attention and a renewed enthusiasm towards the development of renewable energy technologies. While there are high hopes towards a transitioning to a renewable energy era, this enthusiasm has however failed to pay attention to the power relations, interests, politics and institutional deficiencies inherent in the sector--which have partly played a role in contributing to the current energy crisis. The problems confronting the sector have largely been treated as technical (e.g. lack of funds, lack of human resources, low maintenance culture etc). This proposed dissertation seeks to examine the socio-political and economic effects of the power crisis and current power relations among the state, corporations and households and offer important lessons for the renewable energy policy and technology dreams of Ghana.