INTERVIEW WITH AN ASPIRING RENEWABLE ENERGY EXPERT
“My plan is to shift a focus from the use of fossil fuels to affordable and clean energy, specifically on ways for a renewable energy transition for a sustainable future for Ghana and Africa at large.…”- Mrs. Catherine Kuamoah P. Essuman
BAM: It’s our pleasure having you on our Short Personality Profile Section of our Magazine
My name is Catherine or Cathy for short and I’m Ghanaian. I’m a researcher/analyst with an interest in renewables. I’m a dynamic young woman who is energetic, passionate, ambitious and always eager to learn new skills. What brought me to China? Well, I think first of all, it was about the Chinese language and then the zeal to know more about the Chinese culture. I studied Chinese Language in Southeast University (Nanjing) for about 6 months. I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Chinese from the University of Ghana. After school, I served as a Research and Administrative assistant to the advisor in charge of Energy and Petroleum Policy to the Minister for Planning at the Ministry of Planning, Ghana. In addition, I gained knowledge about electoral processes through working with the Electoral Commission of Ghana.
BAM: Wow, this sounds like a great connection (General laughter)
Mrs. Catherine: Then, after working for some time, I applied to come back to China for my Masters programme. So currently, I am pursuing my master’s degree in International Relations and Diplomacy at Shanghai University.
BAM: What exactly prompted you to come to China for your chosen course of study?
Mrs. Catherine: Yes, that is a good question. You know China is a major economic force in the global economy………… and also International Relations and Diplomacy is more of a hot cake. I personally desire to broaden my knowledge on political and global issues which will help me think logically and to understand why certain states act in particular ways. Hence with some background knowledge in International Relations, I will be able to make informed decisions which will help improve my country, Ghana. My project is centered on provision of Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG 7), specifically on ways for a renewable energy transition for a sustainable future for West African countries and Africa at large. My vison is to join a research team dedicated to facilitating the delivery of sustainable energy services which balance business growth and inter-regional relations in Africa. I am agitating for a shift to the use of Renewable energy sources especially now that the world is menaced by Climate Change and other associated disadvantages with the use of fossil fuels which is affecting all of us.
BAM: So in essence you are planning to proffer an adequate solution to the problem of Global warming…
Mrs. Catherine: Exactly… My plan is to shift a focus from the use of fossil fuels to affordable and clean energy, specifically on ways for a renewable energy transition for a sustainable future for Ghana and Africa at large.
BAM: Are you stylishly positioning yourself to be a Minister of Foreign Affairs or Power and Energy in Ghana after your Course?
Mrs. Catherine: (Laughter) No… Actually, I wish to but I really love the Media so I’m essentially thinking of connecting with experts in Media towards amplifying these national issues and perhaps find my way into the United Nations! Yeah! I want to put Ghana and the entire African continent on the world map.
BAM: What are the Tourist attractions and investment opportunities that can attract Foreigners and Investors to Ghana?
Mrs. Catherine: First of all, Ghana has some unique centers for tourists. I would gladly welcome you to a haven that combines the charms of a tropical beach idyll with a fascinating historical heritage, rich cultural variety and some interesting wildlife in the national parks. For instance, we have Forts and Castles; a visit to any one of Ghana’s forts or castles will leave you with a better understanding of the history surrounding the arrival of Europeans in Africa and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
Rock Climbing: Ghana’s diverse geology has created numerous vertical cliff lines that provide both a challenge for the experienced climber and fun outings for the less experienced.
Deep Sea Fishing: The Atlantic Ocean of the coast of Ghana offers fantastic opportunities for big game fishing of blue marlin, big eye and yellow tuna, barracudas, marko shark amongst others.
Yes, Canopy Walkway, Visitors to Ghana should also visit Ghana’s famous canopy walkway and spot some local wildlife, birds and butterflies. The rainforest walkway is composed of 350m of suspended bridge and seven tree platforms that reach the height of 30m above the forest floor. From the treetops, visitors experience a unique and spectacular view of the rainforest ecosystem and have the opportunity to see flora and fauna, which could never be viewed from the ground. Hundreds of species of butterflies and birds can be seen from the Walkway early in the morning and there is also the chance to catch a glimpse of the Spot-nose, Campbell and Colobus monkeys.
Mole National Park is Ghana’s largest national park, located in the Northern Region of the country and covers an area of 5,000sq km. Its savannah vegetation supports about 730 species of flowering plants and over 90 species including elephants, buffaloes, lions, hyenas, antelopes, crocodiles and over 300 species of birds.
Not forgetting Wli Waterfalls and Mountain Afadja. Also located in the Volta Region, from where I hail, the falls consists of two parts, the lower and upper fall is an eye catching impressive waterfall which culminates into a plunge pool at the base ideal for swimming. The hike to and from the waterfall provide many opportunities to see the local wildlife. The mountain, which is the tallest in the West African Region provides a fulfilling hiking experience with its breath taking peak view.
And finally, there are tons of opportunities to enjoy Ghana’s major festivals including the Akwasidae in the Ashanti Region, the Masquerading Festival and the Edina Bakatue Festivals in the Central Region, the Hogbetsotso of my region; the vibrant Volta Region, and also the contemporary Chalewote Art Festival.
On Investment opportunities, business minded people who want to come to Ghana for serious business will be offered a 100% exemption from payment of direct and indirect duties and levies on all imports for production and exports if they invest in the free zones areas. I therefore encourage businessmen and women to set up their businesses in the free zone area to enjoy this incentive. This is available for 10 years and even after that the taxes you have to pay will not exceed 15%. Other investment opportunities include oil and gas, energy, agriculture, tourism, manufacturing including agro processing, infrastructure (roads, public housing and property development, rail transport and ports) and services (Information and Communications Technology, financial services, education and health) So all credible investors should feel free to come and taste Ghana (Laughter).
BAM: WOW that is an awesome exposition. Thanks for your time with us Madam…
Mrs. Catherine: Thanks for having me on BRIDGEAFRIQUE Magazine…You are really doing a great job of connecting Africa and Africans to the World as well as promoting the Beauty, Culture and Investment opportunities in African Countries. Keep up the good job. Ghana and her people are so proud of your good work.
Interview conducted by BAM Team.