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FT Insight magazine - July/August 2016

  • Text
  • Dumbuya
  • Jaji
  • Coach
  • Leone
  • Insight
  • Population
  • Sector
  • African
  • Solar
  • Jaji
  • Brexit
  • Freetown
In This Issue: His Excellency, the Sierra Leone High Commissioner, Eddie Turay Olusegun Jaji & the blood, sweat & tears of Sea Coach The Wan Pole fish sellers see the future Plus Aminata Dumbuya and Sierra Leone’s solar revolution What does Brexit mean for business? Cash or cashless – how do you spend it?

Tech Talk From

Tech Talk From Revolution to Implementation Aminata Dumbuya, Campaign Director, Power for All Indeed, as Simon Bransfield-Garth, CEO at Azuri Technologies noted, “Africa is at the heart of an energy revolution: mobile money, solar power, big data and efficient appliances provide the opportunity to bring power to everyone, not just people living in large cities. This opportunity has been recognised in Sierra Leone where the right public support for the private sector, as well as the support from community leaders, can transform access to energy in the coming years.” On May 10, President Ernest Bai Koroma, high level ministers, international delegates, 149 Paramount Chiefs, hundreds of businessmen and women, and many more attended the launch of the Energy Revolution; an initiative to bring modern energy services to the people of Sierra Leone. The event, at which Sierra Leone was the first country to sign an Energy Africa compact to partner with the UK Department for International Development, also saw the government set ambitious targets to bring basic clean power to all households by 2025, with the private sector set to play a “key role”. The Energy Revolution and Energy Africa compact aim to accelerate off-grid solar power for households using private investment, and will focus on creating the right environment for sustainable markets to flourish. Speaking after the 10th May event Energy Minister Henry Macauley noted that, “This partnership [with Energy Africa] will develop awareness and appetite to rapidly scale up investment in solar energy and will galvanise investors, development financing institutions, the Government of Sierra Leone and communities to collaborate and expand energy access through solar power solutions.” Already the private sector is taking note. The Government’s announcement that it would immediately eliminate solar value added tax (VAT) and duties on quality certified solar products as part of its commitment sent a clear market signal that this is a revolution which will be led by action. The implementation of supportive policy measures cannot be underestimated. For example, the business environment for off-grid solar in Kenya, which includes similar VAT and duty concessions, has been instrumental in enabling the sector in that country to flourish, and provides some good insights into a potential future for the Sierra Leone market. For example, the Global Solar Off-Grid Semi-Annual Market Report, shows that in the second half of 2015, close to 500,000 solar products were sold in Kenya alone, with cash sales revenues of .7 million, and millions of dollars received from pay-as-you-go solar services. In large part due to its enabling business environment, Kenya is now recognised as a leading off-grid solar market, attracting significant investment and home to a wealth of business model innovation. In respect of consumer engagement, lessons again indicate that Sierra Leone is taking a smart approach to awareness. In rural regions of Kenya, support from local leaders for solar technology helped create rapid demand--such as in the case of the distributor SunnyMoney which built links with communities through Headteachers and the Education Ministry. In Sierra Leone, this kind of community support for socially beneficial solar lanterns and home systems is also a feature of the Energy Revolution. Paramount Chiefs, as well as the Education and Health Ministries, are already engaged with the goal of achieving universal modern energy access. Other recent actions will also help to underpin private sector growth. The Renewable Energy Association of Sierra Leone (REASL) was launched last month to provide strong foundations for the budding off-grid solar market, as was the Power for All campaign, which will bring together private enterprises, civil society and policymakers. Providing forums for businesses, investors, policy-makers and nongovernmental organisations to talk and share knowledge will be vital to ensure all stakeholders work as effectively as possible to achieve energy access targets. Today, Sierra Leone has more than six million people living without clean energy, has launched a bold plan to rapidly increase modern power, is determined to support the private sector through enabling policy and is creating the frameworks to consolidate links with communities, investors and international actors. What happens across the next months and years will ultimately determine its success but one thing is certain already: the stage has been set for the private sector to play a leading role in Sierra Leone’s critical Energy Revolution. FT Insight 15 www.ftinsight.net

Aminata Dumbuya Olusegan Jaji Sea Coach Sierra Leone Insight Population Sector African Solar Jaji Brexit Freetown

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© 2016 by Yumpu
Aminata Dumbuya Olusegan Jaji Sea Coach Sierra Leone Insight Population Sector African Solar Jaji Brexit Freetown