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COO of Grundfos visits Ghana

11.02.2019  15:43
The Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Grundfos, Mr. Stéphane Simonetta was on a two-day working exploratory visit to Ghana on the 6th and 7th of February, 2019. The purpose of the visit was to have a first-hand understanding of the challenges, opportunities and value chain linkages in the water sector and particularly small towns, rural and peri-urban areas in Ghana.

The two-day visit forms part of Grundfos strategy to do more in terms of providing access to water in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Ghana has thus been selected as a pilot country to explore business models that are in line with their ambition to do good (provide water) and do sustainable business. During the two days, Mr. Simonetta and his team toured the Five District water system located in Adidome, in the Central Tongu District of the Volta Region, owned by the District and managed by a private operator, and three other small systems operated by NGOS in Fodzoku in North Tongu District, and two peri-urban communities, Amasaman and Kwabenya.

Ghana has made progress in terms of access to water reaching the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) on water with urban water coverage of more than 70% while rural water coverage stands at about 63%. Nevertheless, water coverage, particularly in rural and small towns, has declined in the last few years due to breakdown in infrastructure (more than 30% of rural and small town water systems are non-functional), pollution of water bodies, and decline in ground water resources and particularly, drastic decline in donor support as well as poor planning and management of investments. Significant investments would be required to meet the Government’s vision of reaching universal coverage by 2025. This requires collaboration and participation with private sector and NGOs in the water sector to support in a more sustainable way.  Grundfos is thus seeking to explore opportunities to provide access to water while doing business.

Furthermore, Denmark (DANIDA) has contributed immensely to the current water coverage situation in Ghana. During the years 1993-2008, Danida supported the water and sanitation sector in Ghana with close to 1 billion DKK, and Danida is still widely associated with the provision of clean water in Ghana. It is thus instructive to note that in line with Denmark’s agenda of transitioning from aid to trade in Ghana, Danish companies like Grundfos are coming in to build on what has been done in the past. Mr. Simonetta’s two-day trip begun with a tour of Jamestown & Usshertown both old and poor fishing communities in the city of Accra, located directly east of the Korle Lagoon. The COO witnessed first-hand the water and sanitation challenges within the community as well as had a historical tour of the community.

 

Next stops were Adidome, Capital of Central Tongu District  and Fodzoku in North Tongu District, both in the Volta Region. In Adidome the COO was welcomed by the District Chief Executive (DCE) of the Central Tongu District, Hon. Mr. Thomas Moor Zonyra together with representatives of the private operator, Afrowood Consult of the 5 District Water System. In his welcome remarks, the DCE reiterated Government’s commitment to collaborating with the private sector to deliver clean drinking water to the people. Mr. Simonetta  also emphasized Grundfos’ plans to contribute to Ghana meeting the SDGs on access to water. The COO together with his team were taking on the tour of the £33 million facility, which included Grundfos solutions.. The system currently serves over 50,000 people. This was followed by a visit to a small water system in the resettlement community of Fodzoku in the North Tongu District with an  e-payment systems to ensure sustainability of the system. NGO Safe Water Network operates the system. Additionally, two more stations operated by NGOs in the peri-urban communities of Obeyeyie and Kwabenya were visited. The small water station at Obeyeyie had installed a  water ATM system, AQtap from Grundfos. These sites visits gave the COO in-depth knowledge about the water sector, value chain linkages and how partnerships can be harnessed to help Ghana to reach the SDG on access to clean drinking water. Mr. Stéphane Simonetta later paid a courtesy call at the Royal Embassy of Denmark, Accra Ghana where he met with Deputy Head of Mission, Mr. Peter Eilschow Olesen, and members of the Trade Team.

In the words of Mr Simonetta, “The last two days have been fantastic for me. I have learnt so much about the water sector of Ghana, the challenges and opportunities. Grundfos would be happy to contribute to Ghana Government’s vision to provide universal access to water by 2025 in line with SDG6. Grundfos is committed to solving water challenges with our technology and innovation to provide clean water. We think global and act local so we want to understand local challenges to develop the best products and solutions, to understand which product can help local businesses in Ghana, which could be scaled up in West Africa. At the end of it all, we want to achieve two goals; do good and do business sustainably”.
Grundfos’ Regional Office for West Africa is located in Accra Ghana providing employment to young Ghanaian engineers and distributors.
The two-day visit was planned in conjunction with the Trade Council at the Embassy of Denmark in Accra, Ghana. The Trade Council is the Governmental export and investment promotion organization under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark. For this and many more support to doing business in Ghana, contact the Trade Team.
 



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