A delegation of senior officials from ECOWAS Electricity Power Pool project led by the ECOWAS Commissioner, Energy and Mines, Dr. Morlaye Bangoura today paid a courtesy call on the Director General and Ambassador-At Large in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ambassador Khadijatu Basirr at her Tower Hill office, Freetown.
The purpose of their visit, Dr. Morlaye Bangoura disclosed, is to reaffirm ECOWAS Commission’s commitment in promoting and developing infrastructure for power generation and transmission, as well as, to assure the coordination of electric power exchanges between ECOWAS Member States. Sierra Leone’s Foreign Ministry Dr. Bangoura said, is playing a pivotal role in actualising this sub-regional objective, underscoring that access to energy is crucial to enable economic opportunities and ensure access to basic services. This he maintained, is in line with ECOWAS Vision 2020 that is aimed at setting a clear direction and goal to significantly raise the standard of living of the people through conscious and inclusive programmes that will guarantee a bright future for West Africa and -shape the destiny of the region for many years to come.
The ECOWAS Commissioner, Energy and Mines lamented that the delay in the implementation of the sub-regional power Interconnector was due to several challenges including the Ebola scourge in the sub-region.
The ECOWAS Secretary General ECOWAS Power Pool, gave a brief overview on the current status on the implementation of the sub-regional power Interconnector project and highlighted key areas that have been implemented thus far with funds provided for emergency energy supply in the country.
Welcoming the ECOWAS Electricity Power Pool delegation on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Director General and Ambassador-At Large, Ambassador Khadijatu Basirr, expressed profound thanks and appreciation for the ECOWAS humanitarian, financial and social assistance in the aftermath of the devastating mudslide on August 14, 2017 and the personal visits by various Heads of State including the ECOWAS Chairman, His Excellency Faure Gnessingbe Eyadema and the President of ECOWAS Commission, Mr. Marcel A. De Souza.
The Director General and Ambassador-At-Large of the Foreign Ministry underscored the significance of the Electricity Power Pool Project in the actualization of the ECOWAS Vision 2020; in enhancing a borderless community of people through economic, political, social, cultural integration and prosperity. She further reiterated the pivotal role of the ECOWAS electricity project to the economic development of Sierra Leone which is in line with the government’s Agenda for Prosperity.
Amb. Khadijatu Basirr appealed to the ECOWAS power pool delegation for the speedy conclusion of the final phase of the construction of the Lungi Logistics Depot and the deployment of staff to commence operations. ‘Let me also extend my sincere thanks and appreciation for the unanimous election of Sierra Leone to the position of Vice President of the ECOWAS Commission for a term of four years during the 17th Extraordinary Session of the Council of Ministers held in Lome Togo in 2017’, she concluded.
The Director of Energy in Sierra Leone, Engineer Benjamin Kamara also made meaningful inputs with regards the updates on the present status of the ECOWAS power pool.