Sierra Leone’s Minister of Energy, Alhaji Kanja Sesay, has in an interview with the Africa Leadership Magazine giving an upbeat assessment of strides made in the energy sector and assured Sierra Leoneans of the determination of the New Direction Government to ensure energy sustainability before the end of next year.
Alhaji Kanja Sesay spoke about the remarkable energy sector reforms so far undertaken by his Ministry, adding that President Julius Maada Bio’s New Direction Manifesto had promised a lot of reforms within the sector which he said were now being aggressively pursued and progressively fulfilled.
He spoke about general administrative reforms at directorate levels at the Ministry and changes at management and technical levels at the three constituent utilities under the Ministry in the Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority, EDSA,the Electricity Generation and Transmission Company, EGTC, and the Electricity and Water Regulatory Commission, EWRC.
Mr. Sesay said the Government of Sierra Leone had created the enabling environment for private sector investments in the energy sector.
“If you consider all the investments through Government and our private partners especially in the mini grids,you will agree that we have done remarkably well,and on evidence of projections and works on the ground,by 2023, we are going to exceed the 350MW installed capacity,” the Minister of Energy said.
He spoke about a variety of energy projects like the Western Area Power Generation Project,the 160MW Bikongor lll Project,the 148MW Bumbuna Phase ll Project and the 28MW Betmai Mini Hydro Project,noting that with all these projects, Sierra Leone was on course to exceeding the 350MW installed capacity threshold by 2023.
On the issue of access to energy, Alhaji Kanja Sesay spoke about the provision of electricity for a good number of rural people which he said had positively impacted the access to energy drive. He also spoke about the doubling of efforts to connect unserved communities to the grid in urban areas.
The Minister of Energy talked the Africa Leadership Magazine through the Seven Districts Electrification Project,the privatization of the business of meters,the CLSG power purchase agreement and the technical and commercial losses incurred by EDSA in its operations.
“For the records, I just want to end that as a Government, we know we have achieved a lot in the past four years. We are looking forward to increasing these achievements, and we are also committed to increasing access to energy,” Mr. Sesay concluded.