The Volta River Authority (VRA) is advocating for the creation of a sub-regional power sector supply chain hub in Ghana, to serve as a reservoir for critical machinery and equipment needed for power production and distribution.
“When the borders were closed, we had to struggle to get some people in to come with the goods that we needed for our repairs and maintenance. So, if there is a sub-regional hub, then you will have a case where a portion of the supply chain activities are within the region – making it easier to get supplies from the sub-regional hub during any other pandemic or lockdown.
“Simply, it is about bringing it closer to home so that in times of emergency you can get critical equipment within time – as against waiting on protocol process to get it from Europe or China and the other countries as experienced with the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Deputy Chief Executive officer in charge of Finance, Dr. Ebenezer Tagoe.
This hub, he indicated, will not only help to hedge against shortage of machinery and equipment for operations if Ghana leads the way and become the centre, but also reduce cost of power in the country and address inflated prices in cases of emergency situations as experienced during COVID-19 induced lockdown, and even after.
He made these remarks while speaking to the B&FT on the sidelines of Supply Chain Commemoration Day in Ghana, held under the theme: ‘Importance of end-to-end integrated supply chain practices for sustainable growth in times of uncertainty’.
Richard Obeng Okrah, President of the Chartered Institute of Supply Chain Management (CISCM), on his part indicated that the call for creating a supply chain hub specifically in the power sector is a good call that will provide security for power producers and other players in the sub-region.
He emphasised that innovative supply chain management in an era like this is critical for the country to stay ahead of its competitors and benefit from the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) – adding that manufacturing/production and supply of goods and services are the main components of the AfCFTA; but on the production side availability of power is crucial, especially regular, cheap power to industries.
“We as supply chain managers are required to move goods from manufacturers to end-users, and effective supply chain systems ensure that the planning, transportation, logistics, warehousing and movement to the ultimate consumer is done in a very efficient manner,” he said.