Sierra Leone’s Energy Minister Participates in High-Level CLSG Steering Committee Meeting in Abidjan, Assures of Sierra Leone’s Commitment to the Project
By: Austine Luseni
Ministry of Energy
Abidjan, CI, Friday August 12,2022 – Sierra Leone’s Minister of Energy, Alhaji Kanja Sesay, has joined his colleagues from Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, and Guinea to ask TRANSCO CLSG management to be innovative and look for other sources of financing in the medium to long term so that TRANSCO CLSG becomes independent.
Mr. Sesay was speaking at the Third Meeting of the Steering Committee of CLSG member countries in Abidjan, Còte d’Ivoire, where he first conveyed greetings and gratitude from President Julius Maada Bio and the People of Sierra Leone to President Alassane Ouattara and the People of Cote d’Ivoire for forging a collaborative energy partnership with Sierra Leone.
Minister Sesay along with his counterparts including the Ivorian Minister of Mines, Petroleum and Energy, Mr. Mamadou Sangafowa-Coulibaly, who chaired the meeting, Mr. Gesler Murray, Minister of Mines and Energy of Liberia, and Mr. Ibrahima Abé Sylla, Minister of Energy, Hydroelectricity and Hydrocarbons of Guinea agreed that TRANSCO CLSG needs all the supports to be viable.
Mr. Sesay spoke about a number of power purchase and transmission agreements that Sierra Leone had signed with Còte d’Ivoire, noting that those agreements had led to the importation of electricity from Còte d’Ivoire to the southeastern cities of Bo and Kenema and the capital city of Freetown.
“Under the CLSG rural electrification program, and as part of our government’s policy objective to provide energy in rural communities, we have connected 28 communities and plan to increase this to 39 by the end of this year. Today, Sierra Leone is part of the CLSG success stories,” Mr. Sesay said.
He said Sierra Leone was now enjoying the TRANSCO/CLSG electricity and was doing everything financially, logistically and administratively possible to continue enjoying it, noting further that his country was proud to see countries in the region support one another.
The Minister of Energy informed his counterparts that since the issue of sustainability was critical, he had taken steps to ensure that large-scale mining companies in Sierra Leone were connected to the CLSG grid, citing the OCTEA Mining Company in Eastern Sierra Leone as one of those companies that were close to being connected to the CLSG grid. This, Mr. Sesay said, would enhance the sustainability of the project through increased revenue.
He warned against the consistent dependence on the CLSG countries and encouraged TRANSCO CLSG and member countries to explore other resources that geared towards enhancing sustainability and independence.
Assistant Minister of Energy in Liberia and Chairman of the Joint Implementation Committee of the CLSG, William Thompson, spoke about the general activities of the Steering Committee.
General Manager of TRANSCO CLSG, Mohamed Sheriff, highlighted the legal and technical frameworks that underpin the creation of the TRANSCO/CLSG project and business plan.
The energy sector reforms continue.