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FTInsight April/May 2016

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Freetown Insight

Freetown Insight Contributor Are small solar home systems the way to light up Sierra Leone? Less than 1% of Sierra Leoneans living in rural areas have access to energy. Around the country, lack of energy is a major challenge across all sectors including: private sector, health, and education. Energy is one of the key priorities in the “Agenda for Prosperity” and also one of the country’s key socio economic post-Ebola recovery priorities. The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) is supporting the Government and people of Sierra Leone to deliver on this challenge. Early in April, the Ministry of Energy (MoE) and DFID hosted an unprecedented meeting with all 149 Paramount Chiefs, District Council Chairmen, and City Mayors in Sierra Leone to discuss providing power for all Sierra Leoneans. The one-day event was intended to engage attendees in a conversation about the current energy challenges in rural communities and the solutions and opportunities available through renewable energy, with an emphasis on small solar home systems (SHSs). The MoE hopes to inspire leaders to champion renewable energy in their chiefdoms. Designed to be both an informative and interactive session, the community leaders had the chance to learn about the opportunities the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL), donor partners, and the private sector can offer

FT Insight 27 in fostering renewable energy businesses in their chiefdoms. Following that, a roundtable conversation discussed lessons learned among chiefdoms which have been early adopters of renewable energy. Local private sector companies attended to showcase the technologies and services they can provide. This event is the fourth and final meeting leading up the Sierra Leone Energy Revolution launch event on the 10th of May in Freetown. Three previous roundtable meetings were held over the past several weeks to engage the private sector; Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs); and financial institutions, in discussions about the obstacles, challenges, and opportunities in running a renewable energy business in Sierra Leone and to identify incentives and policy shifts that would enable off-grid renewable energy sector growth. All three roundtables were successful in identifying key challenges and the solutions needed to overcome them. Some of the major outcomes include: the creation of the Renewable Energy Association, the adoption of international quality standards and duty free status for qualifying imports. “We are really happy with the outcomes of the previous roundtables and we feel conf ident that this event will be a success. If community leaders can embrace renewable energy in their communities, we will be on track to provide power for Sierra Leoneans,” said Patrick Tarawalli, Technical Advisor Ministry of Energy. www.ftinsight.net

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© 2016 by Yumpu
Leone Sector Insight Economic Governance Freetown Countries Investors Herbert Opportunities www.ftinsight.net