GIMPA and PURC Launch Centre of Excellence in Public Utility Regulation (CEPUR)
By Joyce Boahemaa Fosu
GIMPA and the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) inaugurated the Centre of Excellence in Public Utility Regulation (CEPUR) on February 28, 2023, at the Greenhill Campus, GIMPA.
Hon. Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, the Minister of Energy was the guest of honour, he was accompanied by his Deputy Minister, Hon. Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam, who later on inaugurated the Centre.
The Rector, Deputy Rector, the Secretary of the Institute and a cross section of the GIMPA community were in attendance.
A memorandum of Understanding between GIMPA and PURC gave birth to CEPUR, which is aimed at developing the competencies and expertise in the regulation and governance of the Electricity, Water, Natural gas sectors and other public utility sectors. It envisages being the leading Centre for research and capacity building in utility regulation in Africa and beyond.
The event also saw the launch of the 2021 Ghana Utility performance Index (GUPI) by Dr. Ishmael Ackah, the Executive Secretary of PURC. GUPI is aimed at facilitating peer learning and productivity among regional operation areas of Ghana’s Utility service providers. GUPI was developed locally by some internal staff of PURC.
In his opening remarks, the Rector of GIMPA, Prof. Samuel Kwaku Bonsu, expressed his appreciation on behalf of the Chair of the Governing Council of GIMPA, Mr. Kofi Darko Asante to all present for being part of this historic event.
He noted that GIMPA was set up about 62 years ago and has evolved in consonance with the times. ‘As part of the evolution, we have sought partnerships with various entities to facilitate achievement of our strategic goals and this Centre is one such partnership,’ he added.
Prof. Bonsu indicated that CEPUR ‘Will conduct high-level policy-relevant research, and encourage scholarly and public dialogues on utility regulation. It will, therefore, be a leading point of ideas and policies to support not only Ghana’s PURC but also similar institutions across the continents.’
The sector Minister lauded the two institutions for the initiative. He further congratulated PURC for its 25th anniversary which fell in October 2022.
He again indicated the relevance and timeliness of the Centre in improving the energy sector. He therefore, urged policymakers, regulators, utility service providers, industry players and civil society organisations and the general public, desirous of acquiring knowledge in the economics of regulation, to make use of the Centre to build the expertise necessary to move the energy sector.
Mr. Ebo B. Quagrainie, the Chair of the PURC Board expressed his excitement about the partnership between GIMPA and PURC adding ‘This partnership is essential in our quest to achieve and sustain regulatory excellence.’
He further disclosed that GIMPA was undoubtedly one of the best Training and Research Institutions on the continent, it was, therefore, certainly the best institution to run the Centre.
Professor Samuel Adams and Prof. Philip Kofi Adom, both from the School of Public Service and Governance are the brains behind the Centre. They conceptualised the idea of a Centre for research and capacity building in utility regulation after they were approached by PURC for discussions in that regard. They have been appointed Senior Research Fellow and Research Fellow respectively at CEPUR. They are tasked with training, consultancy, regulatory conversations and policy dialogue of the Centre.
CORPORATE AFFAIRS & INSTITUTIONAL ADVANCEMENT, CAIA