Large swaths of Ghana are currently experiencing frequent power blackouts, adding to the nation’s already challenging economic crisis. These outages are a result of critical gas shortages at a major power facility located in Tema, just east of the capital city, Accra. During peak hours, the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) reports a substantial power deficit of 550MW. It’s important to note that Ghana has been wrestling with electricity shortages for years, locally known as “dumsor.”
Unfortunately, this blackout situation has returned without prior notice or a defined schedule, leading to widespread frustration among Ghanaians. Many have taken to social media platforms like X (formerly known as Twitter) to express their concerns and experiences.
GRIDCo’s statement did not specify when power will be fully restored to the affected areas, leaving citizens uncertain about when the situation will improve. We reached out to GRIDCo for further information, and our request is currently pending their response.
Recent studies and experts suggest that Ghana’s energy crisis is projected to worsen in the upcoming years, starting as early as this year. Urgent and substantial investments in the country’s energy infrastructure are required to address the precarious energy situation. The Centre for Socioeconomic Studies (CSS), a research and policy think tank, emphasized the urgency of this situation in a study released in June.
According to CSS, the available data strongly indicates that Ghana’s current energy supply is at a critical juncture and is heading towards a power crisis. The country is anticipated to face a dire energy situation starting in 2023 and extending into the foreseeable future. The situation is further exacerbated by rising energy tariffs, adding to the financial burdens of Ghanaian citizens. In May, electricity tariffs surged by more than 18%, following an almost 30% increase earlier in the year. To make matters worse, energy bills increased again by over 4% last month, compounding the challenges of a high cost of living crisis.
This year, Ghana has grappled with various economic shocks, including high inflation, a sharp decline in the local currency’s value, soaring national debts, and a federal budget weakened by the increasing costs of the energy sector, all while experiencing a decline in public revenues. The World Bank has been closely monitoring these economic challenges, which have led to a significant increase in the cost of living and sparked a series of anti-government protests. The public has also been vocal in calling for a change in the leadership of the country’s central bank due to concerns over alleged economic mismanagement. In July, the central bank reported its largest annual loss, amounting to 60.8 billion cedis, which is over $5 billion.