By Lahai Kpaka

The Ministry of Energy with support of the UNDP has on Friday 19th January, 2018 launched the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Policies at the British Council Auditorium which attracted various stakeholders which included among others, World Bank, DFID, EDSA, EGTC, EPASL, Renewable Energy Association of Sierra Leone, Civil Society Organizations and the Media.

In her opening remarks, the Executive Chairperson EPASL, Mrs. Khadijatu Jallow thanked the Ministry of Energy for realizing the dream of the energy priority initiated by President Koroma. She noted that the Renewable Energy Policy is actually in consistent with the environmental policy that anticipates clean energy growth, saving of the environment as well as the wellbeing of the people of Sierra Leone.

The Minister, Amb. Henry Macauley in launching the said policies did emphasize on the need for private sector involvement. He said these policies provide the space to avoid uninterrupted power supply mainly with the integration of both off grid and on grid facilities. He disclosed the ability of the renewable energy in terms of having less cost effects and at the same time producing clean power supply to customers. He maintained that the Government of Sierra Leone does recognise that the regular and stable energy supply is crucial for small and large scale businesses including private sector development. The Permanent Secretary, Zainab Buya-Kamara in her statement noted that the ministry is keen in formulating policies that support the growth of sustainable energy for the country. She said the ministry is determined to roll out policies and programs that are supportive to the energy sector. She commended UNDP for been in partnership with the ministry in launching these policies.

Alhaji Sheik Yayah Sesay, a representative from the World Bank emphasized on the Bank’s readiness to support the government in addressing the high cost of electricity supply. He reiterated that there is need to diversify the energy sector in order to achieve sustainable development. He disclosed that $40 Million has been set aside for the energy sector including another $59.7 million under the West Africa Power Pool Project to primarily promote Renewable Energy.

However, the Director of the Ministry of Energy, Ing Benjamin Kamara gave an overview of the policies through the use of PowerPoint presentations where he did unfold to various Stakeholders the background, challenges and vision of the said policies.

Other stakeholders including the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, DFID, REASL, and the Presidential Adviser on Renewable Energy also gave relevant statements during the program.