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Connecting 50,000 people in Eastern Ghana

Dow is supporting an information and communication infrastructure pilot to reach approximately 50,000 people in Eastern Ghana, to support improved Internet and data communications connectivity. Dow's support will help to enable the construction of a renewable energy biomass power facility that will generate sustainable incomes for thousands of smallholder farmers locally.

Through its local grantee, the Okyeman Environment Foundation (OEF), Dow has enabled the construction of a Wi-Fi network inclusive of hardware, software and deployment of technology to support two base stations and 18 hot spots, to create an information and communication infrastructure pilot covering a collective area of around 15km radius within surrounding communities of the biomass power facility.

The infrastructure allows approximately 50,000 people to connect to a Wi-Fi network, permitting affordable data communications and Internet access. The project is a grantee of the Dow Business Impact Fund, which has been identifying and funding new projects that hold the potential to create significant social impact since 2016.

Access to modern, cleaner energy is essential to human development, said Peter Heydasch, global end-use manager for wire and cable solutions at Dow. Affordable energy decreases poverty and improves quality of life, be it for jobs, security, climate change, food production or increasing incomes, and it follows that communication infrastructure is key for sustainable development. Access to reliable and affordable communication technologies lifts people out of poverty and helps them to overcome the digital divide. Dow's 2025 sustainability goals aim to engage for impact and delivering breakthrough innovations which is exactly what this project allows us to do.

Lack of affordable access to electricity and subsequent lack of telecommunication infrastructure form the root of the digital divide inhibiting poor rural community members from participating in socio-economic development in this region. To address the problem in a sustainable way, the construction of a 40MW biomass power plant is planned in Nsutem, Ghana. The project has been sponsored by Village Corps and a Power Africa grant by the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) and has been advanced through the commitment and support of the Government of Ghana, the Akyem Abuakwa Kingdom and the Okyeman Environment Foundation.

The project will not only increase access to renewable electricity, but will also help mitigate climate change and assist local community members to adapt to a changing climate.

Community members will be trained in how to use their phones to benefit from software solutions, to help enable skills development and access to valuable information in areas such as primary education, farming and healthcare.