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Alliance for Sustainability Education Endorses Dr. Bawumia’s Electric Bus Initiative Amid Election Speculations


Accra, Ghana – May 21, 2024: The Alliance for Sustainability Education (ASEc) has issued a detailed reaction to Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia recent announcement of Government plans to introduce 200 electric buses into the public transportation system.

The statement, released by ASE’s Lead Convener Andrews Aibi Junior, presents a multifaceted analysis of the potential economic, environmental, and social impacts of this initiative.

Economic Implications: Strengthening Foreign Reserves and Reducing Transportation Costs

ASEc highlights the significant economic benefits that could arise from this transition. With over 30% of Ghana’s total imports currently consisting of crude oil, a shift to electric buses could substantially reduce the nation’s fuel import bill.

This reduction in expenditure could help bolster Ghana’s foreign reserves, providing a more stable economic foundation. The organization draws parallels with Ethiopia’s Logistics Master Plan, which aims to cut a $6 billion fossil fuel import bill through similar measures.

Furthermore, ASEc points out that electric vehicles (EVs) have lower operating costs compared to internal combustion engine vehicles. This could translate into reduced public transport costs due to lower maintenance expenses and the absence of volatile fuel prices.

By stabilizing and potentially lowering transportation costs, the initiative could mitigate inflationary pressures and lower the cost of goods and services for consumers.

Environmental Benefits: Reducing Carbon Footprint and Air Pollution

ASEc emphasizes the environmental advantages of adopting electric buses. The shift is expected to lead to a substantial reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality, especially in urban areas like Accra where air pollution causes nearly 1,790 deaths annually.

The introduction of electric buses aligns with Ghana’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under international climate agreements, aiming to cut 64MtCO2e by 2030.

Given that over 95% of vehicles in Ghana are second-hand, with an average age of 14.2 years, the transition to electric mobility is seen as a crucial step towards reducing the country’s carbon footprint.

ASE’s statement notes that this move will significantly lower the emissions from public transport vehicles, contributing to a healthier population by reducing respiratory and cardiovascular diseases linked to air pollution.

Boosting Innovation and Job Creation

ASEc also underscores the potential for job creation and innovation. The electric bus initiative is expected to spur local innovation, requiring new skills and expertise to develop and maintain the fleet.

Training programs focused on electric vehicle technology could equip the workforce with necessary skills, fostering a new industry within the country.

Moreover, local production of components such as batteries and charging stations, especially with plans to mine newly discovered lithium, could further stimulate economic growth and create employment opportunities.

Addressing Challenges: Infrastructure and Energy Concerns

While praising the initiative, ASE acknowledges the challenges ahead, particularly the recent unanticipated blackouts (dumsor) which could impede a seamless transition to electric mobility. To counter this, ASEc suggests integrating solar PV panels onto buses and into the charging infrastructure to harness solar energy, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions and cutting costs.

Currently, there are only four level 2 charging stations available to the public, all located in Accra. ASE stresses the need for adequate deployment of charging stations across the country to support the new fleet.

Political Timing: Sustainable Progress or Election Strategy?

Despite the numerous benefits, ASEc questions the timing of the announcement, coming from a Vice President seeking the presidency in the December 2024 elections. This has led to speculations about whether the move is driven by genuine sustainable development goals or is a strategic effort to garner electoral support.

Read detailed statement below.

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