December 4, 2018
By Ibrahim Tarawallie
At INTEGEMS hall in Freetown Monday, fifteen staff from the Energy Ministry, Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority (EDSA), Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC) and Electricity Generation and Transmission Company (EGTC) received certificates after completing three weeks of intensive training in understanding the fundamentals of electricity demand forecasting (load forecast), power flow analysis, and integrated generation and transmission expansion planning.
The aim of the training, which was supported by the MCCU, was to provide an inter-institutional capacity building programme on power sector expansion planning designed to meet the needs of those institutions in the context of the development of an Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).
Chief Executive Officer of MCCU, Ndeye Fatu Koroma, said the training formed part of the support the unit has been providing to the energy sector over the years.
“We have worked on the development of the energy sector roadmap, which was completed in 2017. We are using the document to define the key actions the sector needs to take in order to ensure universal access to electricity by 2030,” she said and added that planning was an important aspect of such work.
She noted the difficulty in getting to the top without a proper plan in place for the sector, adding that they were interested to know the projects the government wants to invest in, going forward in meeting the electricity needs of the people for the next five to 10 years.
“We are very excited that AF Mercados EMI, a consultancy firm, has provided this training through funding provided by the United States Government,” she said.
Energy Minister Alhaji Kanja Sesay said the availability of reliable and affordable electricity was the underpinning factor of all developments.
In order to ensure complete transformation of the sector, the Alhaji Sesay disclosed that four main pillars have been stipulated, citing access to energy and provision of affordable electricity and power throughout the country by improving governance at all levels in the sector, and securing a robust reform in the sector through changing how business was being conducted and efficient implementation of projects.
“We also want to restore electricity supply to all district headquarter towns by improving energy access outside of Freetown and also investing in low cost renewable energy projects, including solar, wind and biomass,” he disclosed, while emphasising the need for a sector that is well planned and efficient.
He added that projects that provide affordable and increased access to energy supply in the country would be promoted.
Alhaji Sesay noted that with support from the Millennium Challenge Corporation and other partners, they were working on a variety of fronts to achieve the goals of the ‘New Direction’ on energy.
He disclosed that through the threshold programme, the MCC has supported the energy sector by developing a power sector roadmap and action plan that define the reform strategy for the sector over the next 12 years.
“In order to fully realise the transformation of the sector, especially within the ministry, we saw the need to set up a central planning unit responsible not only for the overall supervision, generation and distribution planning, but also conducting monitoring and evaluation of ongoing projects to ensure they are being implemented in accordance with stipulated guidelines and regulations,” he added.
With regards the training, the energy minister described certificate received by participants as a foundation necessary for well trained staff, while commending their hard work during the past three weeks.
According to him, knowledge and insight gained would go a long way to impact their respective institutions and the sector as a whole.