The German Federal Ministry Economic Cooperation, through its Invest for Jobs initiative, has presented a 58- passenger capacity (38 seats and 20 standing capacity) electric bus to the Ghana Free Zones Authority (GFZA).
The electric bus is aimed at providing an efficient and environmentally friendly transportation solution for employees and visitors within the Tema Export Processing Zone (TEPZ), while at the same time reducing carbon emissions and promoting sustainability.
Today is a win for Ghana and Germany. This initiative does not only represent our efforts towards a more environmentally responsible and sustainable form of transportation but also our dedication to a better, cleaner future that goes hand-in-hand with the significant industrialization and the creation of decent jobs that we seek to achieve,” explained Country Director of GIZ Ghana Dr. Dirk Aβmann.
He noted that the launch of the electric bus is consistent with GIZ’s goal of creating a cleaner and more sustainable environment, adding that considering how important transportation is to everyday lives, switching to electric vehicles is a real and significant approach to reducing carbon footprint.
He mentioned that GIZ hopes to scale it up in the coming years as the government of Ghana has shown commitment to promoting e-mobility in the 2024 Budget.
Receiving the key to the bus, the deputy CEO of GFZA, Kate Abbeo, noted that a feasibility study conducted within the TEPZ identified employee mobility, training and unavailability of canteen as significant challenges of the enclave which covers about 1200 acres of land.
To ease the movement of the employees, she noted that the Authority has constructed a bus stop and map out bus route within the enclave.
With regards to training, she stated that the Authority has provided training for 1,780 out of 2000 targeted employees. The training was focused on customer service, African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), dealing with fire hazards among others.
She stated that the Authority has also received estimates from contractors awaiting review to enable them (GFZA) to establish about three satellite canteens for the employees within the enclave.
According to the United Nations Environment Programme, Ghana’s transport sector contributes to 47.7% of energy-related emissions. It is expected that voluntary commitments will bring down the emissions by around 15% by 2030. This means Ghana’s electric mobility agenda would have to be delivered through a range of supportive government policies, private sector partnerships, and strategic investments from international development.
Invest for Jobs, which is the brand of the Special Initiative “Decent Work for a just Transition” works closely with the Ministry of Trade and Industry, affiliate of Ghana Free Zones Authority, and private sector partners-LMI Holdings, among others, to promote the conditions within the Free Zones enclave and to make it more attractive to investors. This joint project aims to create decent employment opportunities through an ecosystem in the Tema Export Processing Zone.
A feasibility study conducted within the TEPZ identified employee mobility as a significant challenge. While some businesses are compelled to provide transportation for their employees, the majority rely on expensive and risky options such as taxis or unauthorized motorcycles (Okada)or simply walk long distances due to shit systems, sometimes in the evening.
The introduction of an electric system is proposed as a sustainable solution that would also help reduce carbon emissions. The implementation of a shuttle system, specifically via an electric-vehicle, is intended to address the mobility challenges encountered by employees working with the TEPZ and at the same time pilot a new technology for micro-mobility in Ghana.
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