Gov’t, CSOs committed to energy access


March 24, 2017 By Ibrahim Tarawallie

The Sierra Leone government, civil society organisations and the private sector have joined forces together in a call to action for energy access in every corner of the country.

During an event organised by Power For All Campaign on Wednesday (March 22) at the Lagoonda Complex in Freetown, the Minister of Energy; Ambassador Henry Macauley ,other private sector and civil society representatives made commitment to undertake activities that would accelerate the growth of the decentralised renewable energy market, which is vital for reaching six million living in energy poverty.

The Power For All campaign is a global campaign to promote distributed renewable energy as the fastest, most cost-effective and sustainable way to achieve universal energy access.

During the event, Ambassador Macauley assured of government’s commitment and determination to ensure that energy was accessible and affordable to every Sierra Leonean.

He pledged the government’s  commitment to enhance the ‘green lane’ tax-exempt importation system for quality solar products, as well as taking action to better maintain solar streetlights and encourage ministries to save by adopting solar.

“Today, the government, private sector, donors and civil society organisations unite to make solid commitments to accelerate energy access. Most importantly, these commitments will be backed by clear, achievable and specific plans and actions,” he said.

Ambassador Macauley said there was much to be done and therefore call on everyone to work together as a sector, alongside local Chieftaincies and community groups, to end energy poverty in Sierra Leone.

Also speaking was the Director of Energy in the Ministry, Ing. Benjamin Kamara, who stated the ministry, has taken an integrated approach to energy access, adding that their aim was to have electricity in the 149 chiefdoms of Sierra Leone.

The Renewable Energy Association of Sierra Leone pledged to maintain a rigorous screening process to ensure members only sell products that meet international quality standards and also collaborate with technical institutes and universities for the inclusion of renewable energy training into curriculum, and to develop accredited training programmes.

According to Ami Dumbuya, Power For All Campaign Coordinator, the commitments from stakeholders in the energy sector would build on steps already taken to increase energy access, following the launch of the Sierra Leone Energy Revolution in May, 2016.

She said the call to action and joint commitments aim to speed up the implementation of further activities and continue to build momentum towards the country’s energy access goals.