AS ENERGY SECTOR DISCUSSES THE WAY FORWARD,
Finance Ministry Assures Lighting District Capitals.
By MoE Comm Unit.
The Ministry of Energy, World Bank, Ministry of Finance and other stakeholders in the energy sector have held a successful energy sector roundtable workshop on the 30th September and 1st October, 2019 at the Atlantic Lumley Hotel in Freetown. The rationale for the two days’ workshop was to discuss and assess key issues and challenges for the sector and to agree on priority areas for intervention through a collaborative effort of the government and the donor community.
In the opening session, the Minister of Energy, Alhaji Kanja Sesay delivered a welcome statement highlighting the need for such a gathering with stakeholders and expected outcome of the roundtable workshop. He continued that it was like directing or showing the road map for the sector to strive better. Minister Sesay stressed that the outcome gained from the workshop would be the plan and catalogue to follow. Alongside the Minister was the World Bank Country Director, Mr. Pierre Laporte who also gave a welcome address.
Short statements were made by key partners like DFID, MCCU, AfDB and EU before the keynote address was delivered by the Finance Minister, Mr. Jocob Jusu Saffa.
So many presentations followed by discussion were made – The security of Energy Supply which covered the status of demand and supply, short and medium term plan was also done by the Ministry of Energy and World Bank. Financing sustainability of the sector which entailed financial issues, challenges and distribution, MCC utility performance improvement study was done by the Ministry of Finance Financial Secretary, Mr. Sahr Lahai Jusu alongside MCCU, EDSA, EWRC on tariff trajectory respectively.
Another presentation on the experience of Utility turn- round was delivered by a Ugandan former Deputy managing Director, Mr. Samuel Zimbe. Off Grid electrification presentation was done by Bumbuna 2 project Manager, Mr. Cyril Grant. The Rural Renewable Energy Project (RREP) was presented by DFID and UNOPS. Experience in other countries and mobilizing private financing for IPPs, also formed part of the presentations and discussions of the two days Roundtable workshop.
On the way forward, priority areas and action, the Minister of Finance who was very active in the deliberations was quick to assure the energy sector and partners that lighting district capitals of Sierra Leone is government’s priority which is going to be done as early as possible adding that going against that project can be termed as not morally good. Other priorities that followed were segmented into short, medium and long term plans respectively.