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17.09.2004 General News

More people deprived of energy- Prof.

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Accra Sept. 17, GNA - Professor Elizabeth Ardayfio-Schandorf, Former Head of the Department of Geography and Resource Development, University of Ghana, on Thursday said one pressing area where billions of people appear deprived is the area of access to energy.

"Without access to commercial energy and electricity grids to provide modern and other commercial energy, the developing countries depend mostly on wood fuel as the source of energy," she said.

Professor Ardayfio-Schandorf was giving an inaugural lecture on the topic: "Energy and the Development; Nexus: The Realities, Challenges and Opportunities for the Future".

She said energy realities in Ghana are dominated by wood fuel at all levels, with only 1.1 per cent household using electricity as their source of energy.

Professor Ardayfio-Schandorf said the basic needs of about 86 per cent of Ghanaians in terms of energy are not currently being fulfilled, as 90 per cent of the population use wood fuel which is increasingly becoming sparse and more labour intensive coupled with adverse environmental consequences.

She said energy as a resource and a complex driving force for all aspect of socio-economic development is recognized as a critical, global cross-cutting multi-dimensional issue, emphasizing, "without energy there will not be any development at all."

She noted that one challenge the country is likely to face in the years ahead is how to supply alternative and efficient household and commercial energy at affordable prices to meet the development needs of the entire population, especially the rural and urban majority.

"Whilst the industrial countries, representing 20 per cent of the global population of one billion, consume 60 per cent of the total global energy supply, five billion people in the developing countries consume 40 per cent of the total energy supply".

"The two billion poorest population use only 0.2 energy per capita per annum whereas the billion richest population use almost 25 times more at five per capita annually," she added. 17 Sept. 04