The political landscape of Ghana is shadowed by the 2024 election. Every candidate takes advantage of the rare chance to share their thoughts and programmes with the people in order to give them some feeling of optimism in these difficult economic times. The campaign trail and promises go hand in hand. In light of this, Vice President and New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential candidate Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has stated that the government is developing a policy framework to transition public transport to electric vehicles (EVs). In a society with an unpredictable supply of power, this commentary would examine the anticipated EV policy.
The emergence of electric cars is part of a global ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) agenda that is a collection of principles and criteria that investors, firms, governments, and other stakeholders consider when making choices and assessing the long-term and ethical consequences of their activities. ESG has gained significant traction in recent years as a framework for responsible and sustainable business practices and investment strategies . However, there is more, which suggests that ESG is part of a grand scheme led by the World Economic Forum (WEF) seeking to push stringent and inhumane measures bent on achieving zero carbon emissions by 2050.
According to the World Economic Forum, achieving zero-carbon emissions requires a full revamp of the world’s energy, transportation, and industry, as well as agriculture and forestry. The cost of achieving zero-carbon emissions is radically predicted to be $9.2 trillion per year between now and 2050. Again, developing nations, like Ghana, are identified by the WEF as having the highest level of green transition investments and emerging markets since carbon emissions are high in these countries and have rapidly increased in recent decades .
Therefore, it is not surprising when Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Vice President and Flag Bearer of the NPP, adds to the call to transition public transport to EVs. According to Dr. Bawumia, the reason for such a policy is to ‘… drastically reduce the cost of transportation, as the major components of the cost are fuel and spare parts. It will also reduce carbon emissions”.
First, the bad economic management and first-class incompetence supervised by Dr. Bawumia have resulted in a record high of 40.1% inflation in Ghana. This has translated to an increase in the price of everything, including spare parts. Furthermore, the poor road network with massive potholes that have transformed into gulleys and manholes in Ghana is the leading source of car damage, resulting in needless repair costs and the need to replace damaged parts. Solving the economic disaster should be the focus of Dr. Bawumia.
Also, it is important to note that Ghanaians need a constant supply of electricity, not electric cars. The rural electrification project that started in 1970 has less than 50% of households having access to electricity in Ghana . The 2023 budget statement of Ghana introduced more energy sector levies with no plans to increase access to electricity among rural folks or mention rural electrification. Therefore, rural folks continue to waste productive economic time on household chores, deepening poverty due to a lack of access to electricity .
Even urban areas with access to electricity do not get a constant supply of it. The erratic supply of electricity has transformed the once-solved ‘dumsor’ into a ‘dum siesie’ with uncertain periodic timetables for loadshedding. Therefore, as a country, we must not embrace green solutions with complete disregard for our real issues.
Mo Ibrahim, the Sudanese-British billionaire and founder of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, puts it simply:
We found it a little strange, you know, that Europe is wallowing in gas, Russian gas, African gas… and when it comes to Africa, ‘No, no, no, no. We don’t fund gas there.’ You are using African gas, and you deny us using African gas. I mean, that’s morally indefensible.”
To put it simply, Ghana, and to a large extent, Africa, should be allowed to use its cheap fossil energy to develop strong economies and solve the real problem of erratic electricity supply and inadequate access to the national grid.
Ghana would join the many African countries serving as the dumbing ground for green technology that is completely parallel to its core problem in the name of achieving a perceived zero-carbon emission. Climate alarmists are actively influencing African leaders, including Dr. Bawumia, with a one-sided and inconclusive climate argument that ignores the regenerative capacity of the environment or the cyclical nature of carbon in the atmosphere.
It is a deliberate attempt and radical commitment to shove green solutions in our throats, and unfortunately, our leaders do not realise it. This was made clear with a call to ban the financing of fossil projects by world leaders at the COP26, United Nations Conference on Climate, Glasgow, Scotland, in 2021.
Again, we should be slow to the usual jamboree that surrounds policy intentions, in particular the policy framework to transition public transport to electric vehicles (EV) by Dr. Bawumia. As policy are not adjudge by intension but results. However, with EVs, our inadequate power supply would deepen. The policy is not only detached from reality but should consider a detailed approach to how the electricity supply would increase and provide constant and cheap electricity for both domestic and commercial use.
In conclusion, the profitability and operational effectiveness of public transport—Metro Mass, STC, and Ayalolo—are yet to be enjoyed. Therefore, our policies should be focused on solving underlying problems that are responsive to our current needs and visionary enough to make our future comfortable.
He is a free-market policy analyst and president of the YAFO Institute. He engages in activities that promote civil liberty and economic freedom in Ghana. He has a background in law, geography, and economics.
 ESG https://corporatefinanceinstitute.com/resources/esg/esg-environmental-social-governance/
 Costing the earth: What will it take to make the green transition work? Retrieved from < https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2023/09/costing-the-earth-how-to-make-green-transition-work/>We found it a little strange, you know, that Europe is wallowing in gas, Russian gas, African gas… and when it comes to Africa, ‘No, no, no, no. We don’t fund gas there.’ You are using African gas and you deny us using African gas. I mean that’s morally indefensible.”
 Powering the powerless: Economic impact of rural electrification in Ghana. Retrieved from < https://www.theigc.org/collections/powering-powerless-economic-impact-rural-electrification-ghana>
 Budget Statement of Ghana, 2023. Retrieved from <https://mofep.gov.gh/budget-statements/2023>