The Minister of Energy of Sierra Leone says his country is in a hurry for access to reliable and affordable electricity through the CLSG interconnection project. Alhaji Kanja Sesay adds that Sierra Leone is in dare need for energy as demonstrated by the “very terrible energy access percentage which is currently less than 15 percent.”
“We are in a hurry to catch up with the rest of other countries in the subregion,” Minister Sesay disclosed in his opening remarks at the annual donors’ coordination meeting in Freetown, Sierra Leone. He said electricity is the essence of “our very existence. It is the cornerstone of industrialization and a linchpin of our social economic development.”
According to Minister Sesay, the government of Sierra Leone has demonstrated commitment to ensuring that both in the short and medium terms, it will endeavor to double the country’s access to electricity, increase its generation capacity, reduce technical and line loses and improve its service delivery to the people.
“That is the commitment His Excellency President (Julius) Maada Bio has made to the people of Sierra Leone and with your supports, we hope to achieve it.” Minister Sesay reiterated that Sierra Leone is committed to the smooth implementation of the CLSG project, adding “We are aware of the challenges being faced and we have been making sure those bottlenecks are removed.” He said for those issues that are yet resolved, “let me assure you that we are working on them.”
Minister Sesay urged TRANSCO CLSG, the Owner’s Engineer and Donors that delay is not an option for this CLSG project. He called on the participants to brainstorm and look into the issues that hinder progress in the CLSG project and come out with workable solutions and timeline. “Our doors are always open for discussion to resolve these matters.”
“We need to speed up. We are pleased with the overall progress and we only hope that this trajectory will be sustained. This will only encourage us to do more. We will do whatever it takes to fulfil our obligation to this project.”
Minister Sesay formally declared the annual Donor’s Coordination meeting open at the Radisson Blu hotel in Freetown. TRANSCO CLSG and the Donors, including the World Bank, African Development Bank, German Development Bank (KfW) and European Investment Bank (which joins the meetings via video conference) are deliberating on the progress and remaining challenges in the CLSG project implementation.