Ghana today sought India’s cooperation in civil nuclear energy in an attempt to harness clean and sustainable energy to shift its energy mix which is at present focused on traditional energy sources.
The issue came up for discussion during the talks between President Pranab Mukherjee and his Ghanaian counterpart John Dramani Mahama today.
After the talks, the two sides signed three MoUs including the waiver of visa for diplomatic and official passports, establishment of a joint commission to periodically monitor various aspects of multidimensional relationship, and helping in training of Ghanaian Foreign services.
“In the new areas, it came for the first time…Ghanian President specifically mentioned that since India is leader in nuclear energy they want to look at having a civil nuclear cooperation with India,” Secretary (Economic Relations) Amar Sinha said.
The two sides discussed new model of doing business on how to go beyond government to government and lines of credit modes of investment.
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“They said they would want to cooperate with India to see if they can also use the nuclear energy route. They will examine what are the possibilities, what human and national resources are required,” Sinha said.
They said it will be evaluated, discussed and then anything can be said on how to move ahead on the issue.
“They are signatory to COP 21 (Paris Climate deal) and want to move towards clean energy as present energy mix is based on fossil fuels,” Press Secretary to President Venu Rajamony said.
India’s High Commissioner K Jeeva Sagar said Ghana wants to use nuclear energy because they are heavily dependent on traditional energy which is getting expensive and also unreliable.
Ghana’s gas supply passes through Nigeria which gets disrupted sometimes as it comes through a pipeline so they are expanding their energy base, he said.
“In the last five years, we have offered at least half a billion dollars of Lines of Credit USD 430 million to be specific. More than USD 200 million have been utilised and some are yet to be utilised.
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“There is a also a buyer’s credit (USD 400 million) which is for a railway line. Exim bank has already offered it and they are yet to utilise it,” he said.
During the talks, Mahama discussed establishing 85-km of rail link between Tema, a port, and Akasombo in north which is crucial for the economic development of the country, he said.
Giving details of lines of credit extended by India, he said two specific LoCs including the Komenda Sugar Plant which has been commissioned and Elmina fish processing plant aimed at increasing the incomes of farmers and fishermen respectively.
Lauding India’s prowess in business, Mukherjee said: “Brand India is a trusted name today across the developing as well as the developed world.”
“It is trusted because it adds value to the resources of the host countries; it is welcomed because it works and grows together with the local companies; it brings appropriate technologies which create jobs and has the adaptability to absorb local talent; it rejuvenates and invigorates local industry without constraining their growth in any way,” he said.
The president said wherever there is a possibility for public-private-partnerships, the Indian government will not hesitate to support such projects to further strengthen the excellent bilateral relations between our two countries.
He said with the active involvement of Government of Ghana and organisations such as Ghana Investment Promotion Council, we could together identify viable projects for the Indian private sector to invest in.
“Indian multi-national companies are active and successful in several countries in Africa and would be more than happy to come to a friendly country like Ghana,” he said.