As part of efforts to build and mobilize an informed Ghanaian youth to strengthen the demands for transparency and accountability mechanisms, and to promote good resource governance for optional gains from Ghana’s Petroleum resources, the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) on February 25, 2022, partnered with the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) to hold a one-day campus rally for students of the University.
The event held under the theme: “Strengthening accountability for good resource governance through active citizenship’’, was spearheaded by the Department of Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering with the goal to help students monitor the utilization of Ghana’s petroleum revenue.
In his opening remarks, the Vice-Chancellor of UENR, Prof. Elvis Asare-Bediako congratulated the Department of Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering of the School of Energy in the University for collaborating with the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) to organize the campus rally to deliberate on an important topic of national interest.
The Vice-Chancellor said, following the call from President Akufo-Addo in 2017 for Ghanaians to be ‘citizens not spectators’, it was a call to everyone to be active in the development of the nation. He stressed that Ghana needs people with information, facts, and understanding of issues not necessarily experts but those with a passion to lead national discussions. He also added that, with the production of oil in commercial quantities in Ghana, it is the duty of everyone including the younger generation to provide assistance to leadership as to how the country’s resources can be managed.
Ms. Maybel Acquaye, the head of Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning at ACEP in her submission said, the extractive sector contributes over 60% of Ghana’s export revenue, about 18% of total government revenue, and an average of 14% of its GDP, hence, the need for critical management of the country’s resources in other to ensure a thriving economy.
Additionally, she said governments in the African continent have to ensure that their natural resources are well managed and the revenue they receive from the extractive industry are equally distributed to people in impoverished communities.
The Head of Department for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dr. Yaw A. Boakye-Ansah, in the closing remarks explained that the Department seeks to empower the students’ knowledge on issues related to the energy sector. He was optimistic that the rally would have a positive impact on the students.
The other facilitator at the event was the Policy Lead, Petroleum, and Conventional Energy-ACEP, Mr. Kodzo Yaotse.
During the rally, participants were also put into groups to show how they can contribute to change based on what they learned from the various presentations.