Abidjan, CI, March 30, 2017: Despite his busy engagement with the AfBD’s Energy Week workshop, the Minister of Energy of Sierra Leone, Hon. Henry O. Macauley took some time off today to pay a brief courtesy visit to the headquarters of TRANSCO CLSG in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. The General Manager of TRANSCO CLSG, Mohammed M. Sherif welcomed the Minister and later guided him on a tour of the facility.
The General Manager was joined by his senior team including the Director of Finance and Administration, Mr. Jigba Yilla and the Director of the Project Implementation Unit, Mr. Etienne Bailly. (SEE PHOTOS)
The visiting Minister of Energy greeted staff of TRANSCO CLSG during the tour. Following the tour, Minister Macauley thanked Mr. Sherif and his team for the hard work in pushing the CLSG interconnection project forward. “I am pleased with what I see happening here,” the elated Minister said minutes before he departed the premises.
Minister Macauley attended the African Development Bank (AfDB)’s Off-Grid Revolution consultation workshop. The AfDB brought together more than 180 stakeholders across the off-grid energy sector on Tuesday, March 28, in the context of “Energy Week” at the Bank’s headquarters in Abidjan to discuss interventions to support the scale-up of energy access investments.
The overarching objective was to unleash an “Off-Grid Energy Revolution”, to provide up to 75 million households and businesses not covered by the power grid with modern, clean and affordable electricity using decentralized solar technologies.
During the plenary session of the Off-Grid Revolution consultation workshop, opening remarks were given by Bank President Akinwumi Adesina; the Minister of Oil, Energy and Energy Development of Côte d’Ivoire, Thierry Tanoh; and the Minister of Energy of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Henry Macauley.
President Adesina said, “Africa’s energy potential is as enormous as its electricity deficit. We must move quickly to unlock this energy potential. We must be smart, efficient, sustainable and quick in our actions.” The Off-Grid Revolution stakeholder consultation comes under the framework of the New Deal on Energy for Africa, which aims to provide universal energy access to all Africans by 2025.
“Although we can employ mix of approaches, off-grid solutions must be at the core of our approach to achieve the ambitious electricity access targets that we have set,” Adesina added.
The future of off-grid energy solutions is bright. Amadou Hott, the AfDB Vice-President for Power, Energy, Climate Change and Green Growth, noted that millions of Africans have recently been connected to electricity by start-ups, driven by plummeting costs of solar photovoltaic (PV) and batteries, innovations in mobile payments and wireless communications technologies. “These businesses are increasing energy access across Africa faster, more cheaply, and more widely than conventional grid extension,” said Hott.
In break-out sessions, participants discussed the issues related to access to financing, risk mitigation, enabling environment and appropriate business models to scale up the energy access in Africa. Overall, stakeholders reiterated the need for a stronger political will by governments, ensure long-term integrated planning of off-grid and on-grid, and to develop the local ecosystem including manufacturing, skills development. Stakeholders also agreed on the need for more patient capital and local currency financing, hedging tools to mitigate foreign exchange risks, and to improve the credit scoring data.