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Government committed to regional electricity project

July 5, 2019

By Ibrahim Tarawallie

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Participants from Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, including Energy Minister, Alhaji Kanja Sesay and donors

 Minister of Energy has reiterated the government’s commitment and determination to ensure the smooth implementation of the CLSG interconnection project.

The CLSG is a regional electricity project powered by the West Africa Power Pool (WAPP) with implementation by TRANSCO CLSG, to establish a transmission line that will interconnect the States of Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea (CLSG).

The CLSG project is a multinational investment operation with funding coming from the World Bank, the European Investment Bank (EIB), the KfW and the African Development Bank (AfDB).

According to Alhaji Kanja Sesay, his ministry has been working assiduously to ensure that bottlenecks with regards implementation are resolved.

He was speaking at the Radisson Blu Mammy Yoko Hotel in Freetown on Tuesday July 2, 2019 during the opening of two-day high level donors’ coordination meeting to discuss the progress and challenges in the implementation of the CLSG project.

“I consider electricity to be the very essence of our existence and the corner stone for socio economic development. We are committed to the smooth implementation of the CLSG project. Delay should not be an option for the completion of the project,” he said.

He said quite a considerable amount of finances in the form of duty and tax waivers, as well as cash payments to project affected persons have been spent on the project.

He urged participants to look at issues that will affect the successful implementation of the project and come with workable solutions and tangible timelines.

He noted that Sierra Leone is a country in a hurry, demonstrated by the terrible energy access ratio, which is currently pegged at 15%.

Minister Sesay appealed to the World Bank and ADB for support in respect to the rural electrification component of the project and the connectivity issues in the area of the substations.

General Manager of Transco CLSG, Mohammed M. Sheriff stated that they have begun stringing of the transmission line towers in Sierra Leone, as well as building of the substations.

He recognized the collective efforts of the various governments and donors as without them, the project would not have been implemented.

World Bank Task Team Leader for the project, Clemencia Torres de Nastle said: “While we congratulate ourselves today we should know that more still needs to be done between now and next year. Each of the countries has to do specific actions for electricity to arrive to their people.”

She said the completion of the project should be the responsibility of donors, Transco CLSG and the various governments to continue the day by day work.

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