Sierra Leone’s Minister of Energy, Alhaji Dr. Kanja Sesay,has made his first appearance at the Weekly Government Press Briefing, where he gave a persuasive and comprehensive overview of the gains,reforms and challenges in the energy sector since the advent of the New Direction administration in 2018.

Dr. Sesay said that President Julius Maada Bio had committed himself to thoroughly diversifying Sierra Leone’s energy mix and had set his overall policy objective in the sector which the Ministry of Energy was pursuing and was fully committed to actualizing.

He said the Government had increased energy access in the country and was taking huge steps towards attaining energy expansion and sustainability.

Dr. Sesay outlined the place or role of the different players in the energy sector, noting that the process of unbundling had given rise to the establishment of EDSA and EGTC-the two sector players that are in charge of distribution and generation and transmission in that order.

He went on to say that the Sierra Leone Electricity and Water Regulatory Commission,SLEWRC, had also been created,noting that the Ministry of Energy was providing the necessary oversight to enable these institutions deliver on their mandates.

The Minister of Energy stated that the Government had renegotiated the Karpowership agreement and had by that singular action, helped save $18 million in two years.

Dr. Sesay spoke about the contract Government had signed with the Karpowership, adding that the ship and other generation facilities were playing a crucial role and had helped the Government increase access to energy.

He spoke about the Millenium Challenge Corporation,MCC, Compact Program which Sierra Leone was now eligible for,the purchase of meters,the mini grid boom,the CLSG, and the many energy projects in different parts of Sierra Leone, including the Western Area Power Generation Project, Seven Districts Electrification Project, Bo-Kenema Network Rehabilitation and Expansion Project,ESURP, Bumbuna II and Bekongor as some of the notable achievements.

Speaking on the challenges inherited in 2018, Dr. Sesay said that before the advent of the New Direction administration,only 15% of the total population had access to electricity, while also bemoaning the fact that the country was seriously short on generation and transmission infrastructures.

He concluded the session by talking about the huge amount of money Government was expending in the form of electricity subsidies, the current adjustments in tariffs,load shedding, and arrearage owed to EDSA by MDAs and others.

The energy sector reforms continue.