Barefoot Power, a company which is focused on providing affordable lighting and phone charging products specifically for low income population, has given awards and certificates to the winners of the Barefoot Power national essay competition on solar for junior high school students.

1,728 students across the country, from all the ten Regions have entered into the competition on the topic, “ How do you learn at night when the lights go off? What impact will solar light have on your family and the way you learn?” In all, Barefoot Power received over 500 applications and have successfully screened them for their winners, who were today honored with their respective awards and certificates.

Speaking at the ceremony, Kwasi Owusu Gyeabour, Country Manager for Barefoot Power, indicated that, the worsening power situation in the country have given the company the vision to inquire from students how it is affecting their studies and how the situation can be solved. According to him, the company was surprised to observe that most of the students are advocating for the use of solar as source of light and power. He also indicated that the competition was used to create awareness on the need for the use of solar as energy sources which has huge advantage to the development of the nation especially education.

The winners of the competition are as follows were John Ansah Haywood, Global Village Christian Academy International, Ashanti Region, Tracy Obenewah Asante, Ministry of Health Basic School, Greater Accra Region, Aba Ntsifua Donkoh, Swedru Christ the King Preparatory, Central Region, Latifa Alidu- Yakubu Pumaaya, St Andrews JHS, Greater Accra Region and Abena Asamoah Okyere, Ministry of Health Basic School, Greater Accra Region. On his part, Director, Renewable Energy at Ghana Ministry of Energy, Mr. Wisdom Ahiataku-Togobo congratulated the winners and challenged them to take their studies seriously to become great achievers in future.

He averred that, The Ministry of Energy has instituted a power purchase agreement with renewable energy operators under terms that are in line with the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) guidelines. The move, he noted, is to encourage the private sector to develop, construct and operate stand-alone and non-grid connected distributed renewable power plants such as small hydro power plants, biomass co-generation and wind energy power plants. Mr. Wisdom Ahiataku-Togobo said, government strategy in the sector aimed at creating a good relationship with solar energy producers and as well, remove all fiscal and market barriers, as it will encourage utility companies to adopt renewable energy in their supply mix. Mr. Ahiataku-Togobo added that government was equally waiving import duty and providing tax rebates on solar and wind energy systems.

Mr. Ahiataku-Togobo also mentioned that there was the need for the country to find an antidote to the high initial cost of renewable energy systems, focus on research and development, intensify public awareness and adopt a favourable pricing policy to promote the use of energy in the era of “dumsor.” Barefoot Power Africa is a Lighting and Phone Charging, Rural Distribution, Rural Electrification, Social Enterprise, Solar Energy Equipment Supplier.



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