Transforming the West African Market for Energy Efficiency: Ghana Leads the Way with Mandatory Standards and Labels


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Ghana recently enacted the first appliance standards regulations in sub-Saharan Africa, covering room air-conditioner units. The comprehensive legislation also includes provisions for appliance labeling, and will soon cover a range of products including refrigerators, lighting systems, and electric motors and drives. Ghana’s move to improve its energy efficiency is part of a larger energy sector reform designed to support the country’s long-term economic development plans. Ghana’s appliance standards program is also providing a successful model and leadership to other countries in the region seeking to improve their efficiency.

Section 1 details the history of the Ghana Appliance Efficiency Labeling and Standards Program, including efforts at building stakeholder support and developing the appropriate enabling legislation. This successful model of consensus building is applicable to many developing economies, particularly those without significant appliance and equipment manufacturers.

Section 2 analyzes the process of establishing the air conditioner standard, including a description of the various economic and political concerns that the policy makers faced. Partnership with the Collaborative Labeling and Appliance Standards Program (CLASP) gave Ghana access to expertise and sophisticated tools, including computer-based impact models, which helped to refine and improve the final standard.

Section 3 examines the possibilities for regional replication of the Ghana model, including “Fast-Track” agreements with Nigeria and Burkina Faso. Ghana is a key port of entry for West Africa, and for much of the continent’s interior.


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