Ghana's successful implementation of the digital utility regulatory management platform has garnered interest from five African countries.
The Database Management System (DBMS) initiative, piloted by the African Development Bank (AfDB) with funding support from the Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation (KOAFEC) Trust Fund, has become a blueprint for replication.
The DBMS empowers the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) in Ghana to gather, analyze, and use various data types, including financial, accounting, technical, operational, and commercial data.
The smart technology employed enhances regulatory functions and service delivery.
Ms. Fasika Eyerusalem, Ghana Country Manager for AfDB, revealed that several countries, including Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Liberia, and Guinea, have expressed interest in similar digitalization initiatives.
She emphasized that Ghana's pioneering efforts with the DBMS contributed significantly to the country's rise from seventh to fourth position on the Electricity Regulatory Index between 2021 and 2022.
Ms. Eyerusalem added that AfDB is deploying similar digital platforms for regional regulatory entities, such as the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Southern African Development Community, and Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS).
This initiative aligns with the African Union's African Single Electricity Market (AfSEM) initiative, fostering regional electricity trade and exchanges.
The second phase of the DBMS will enhance the monitoring, collection, analysis, and dissemination of power sector regulatory data and information by PURC and the Energy Commission.
Dr. Ishmael Ackah, Executive Secretary of PURC, highlighted the importance of a centralized database management system in enhancing transparency and inclusiveness in regulatory systems.
The second phase aims to address challenges related to manual data gathering, verification, and inconsistency.
As of December 4, 2023, the DBMS helpdesk has served 8,950 customers, resolving 18,026 out of 20,810 received complaints.
The system includes an E-library with 4GB of data and a 34GB PURC data document management system used by staff, both available on the digital platform.
The automation and consistency of data gathering are expected to further improve the Commission's ability to meet regulatory objectives and protect the interests of consumers and utility service providers.