The Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Madam Kenyeh Barlay together with her team in December 2023, met with Li Xiaoyong, Charge d’Affairs of the Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone, and his delegation at her office in Freetown.

The meeting concluded with the signing of an Exchange of Minutes, formalizing Sierra Leone and China’s agreement to deploy 1,500 solar streetlights nationwide. This collaboration is rooted in the three Chinese Aid Projects initiated in February 2022, targeting enhanced illumination for major roads and rural regions.

Further cementing this commitment, the Chinese government, as per the Letters of Exchange from September and October 2022, has undertaken a feasibility study for the solar street lights initiative.

The China Hunan Architectural Design Institute Group Co., Ltd., under the China International Development Cooperation Agency, dispatched experts to Sierra Leone from February 28 to April 9, 2023, for an extensive on-ground assessment. Recognizing past challenges, including premature failures, vandalism, and theft among previous solar installations, the focus now is on ensuring reliable illumination:

Beyond brighter roads, the project aims to stimulate local employment through the assembly, installation, and maintenance of these solar solutions. Emphasizing sustainability, each solar streetlight is designed for a lifespan of over 10 years, promising lasting advantages for Sierra Leone.