Sustainable economic development requires a considerate approach towards the use of natural resources, the climate and the environment – in all parts of the world. However, industrialized countries, as well as emerging and – in particular – developing countries, face many challenges. In Ghana, diverse problems in the energy and waste sectors, specifically, hamper an effective protection of climate and resources, and impede the country’s development. The power supply, for instance, is unable to meet the requirements of increasing consumption, and the subsequent, frequent power outages slow down economic growth. In order to improve the energy supply and further promote climate protection, the Ghanaian government has passed a law promoting renewable energy. The implementation of the law, however, stagnates – not least due to a lack of know-how. In the area of waste management, insufficient waste disposal structures and a lack of capacity impede a sustainable use of increasing amounts, as well as new types, of waste and waste materials. There is a lack of comprehensive concepts that would combine waste prevention, recycling and environmentally sound disposal, and prevent environmental pollution.
Against this background, the project known as “Climate and Resource Protection for Sustainable Economic Development in Ghana” was initiated. One of the main objectives of the project is to embed the topics of the future—renewable energy, waste management, recycling and resource protection—in the sphere of politics, the economy and society in Ghana. Towards that end, the environmental exposition, “West African Clean Energy & Environment Exhibition”, WACEE for short, was launched by the Chamber of Commerce (AHK) in Ghana and provides an ideal platform. Begun in 2012, the exposition brings together many players from the future branches of renewable energies, waste management and recycling. During this annual forum, the actors meet for a three-day exhibition and conference program in Ghana’s capital, Accra, where they collaborate on solutions for sustainable economic development in Ghana and West Africa.
As part of WACEE, and based on the activities of the “Climate and Resource Protection for Sustainable Economic Development in Ghana” project, essential steps to be taken are: to provide momentum in the area of politics and science, to showcase the economic potential of the future branches of renewable energy, waste management and recycling, and to promote entrepreneurial activities.
The opening of the WACEE exhibition in 2012 was already successful in contributing to the crosslinking of actors from North Rhine-Westphalia and Ghana. Thus, maintaining contacts and the further establishment of working relations between the two partner countries was also a focus of the following conference which took place from the 12th to the 14th of November 2013. The facility provided a platform for selected North-Rhine-Westphalian companies working in the area of environment and energy to establish international contacts and to present their expertise. Through their presence at the NRW pavilion, TU Dortmund, the Westphalian University of Applied Science and the NRW Energy Agency also had the opportunity to expand their networks via exchange with international experts on key issues of sustainability.
In addition to the pavilion there was also a new, one-day accompanying conference exclusively focused on the cooperation between Ghana and NRW. As part of the conference program organized by GIZ, Carina Holl, from the Ministry for Climate Protection, Environment, Agriculture, Nature Conservation and Consumer Protection of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia, presented the climate protection plan of the state in order to share the NRW experiences with international experts. On the basis of numerous practical examples of the interaction between the various actors in NRW, representatives from industry, science and politics discussed innovative solutions for climate protection and possible approaches to be utilized in Ghana.
Activities in the framework of WACEE 2013 are part of “Climate and Resource Protection for Sustainable Economic Development in Ghana,” a project organized by GIZ as an integral element of the One World Strategy of the State of NRW.
The project takes up the objectives of the One World Strategy of North Rhine-Westphalia in the action field, “economy,” and helps promote the use of renewable energy and the protection of climate and environment.
Partners and Stakeholders
- AHK Ghana
- City of Kumasi
- EnD-I AG
- Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi
- Ministry for Climate Protection, Environment, Agriculture, Nature Conservation and Consumer Protection of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia
- Nehlsen City Waste Ltd.
- Stadt Dortmund
- TU Dortmund University
- Waste Disposal Centre Pohlsche Heide
- Westphalian University of Applied Science