In a bid to advance government’s New Direction and goals in the energy sector that will directly impact several key areas of Ebola recovery and ensure future resilience in Sierra Leone, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) will implement a $2 million cooperative agreement to support the adoption of solar energy practices and reduce demand on the country’s power grid.
The USAID Country Coordinator, Khadijat Mojidi, made this disclosure during her briefing with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Alie Kabba, on the new Global Development Alliance to promote sustainable energy through USAID’s Cross Boundary Solar Project. The agreement, she further explained, establishes an alliance between USAID, Cross Boundary Energy Holdings (CBE- based in Mauritius) and Cross Boundary Energy Holdings (LLC – based in Washington, DC) is aimed at: increasing electricity access in underserved areas; increase economic activity by strengthening trade, investment and infrastructure; and increasing the capacity of the government of Sierra Leone to manage and maintain a system to distribute off-grid renewable energy. ‘The partnership will achieve these goals while increasing total energy generation capacity, increasing the penetration of clean energy technologies in Sierra Leone’, she added. It is expected that this project will be launched in September this year, the USAID Country Coordinator concluded.
On behalf of His Excellency, Dr. Julius Maada Bio and the people of Sierra Leone, Dr. Alie Kabba, expressed thanks and appreciation to USAID and partners for creating such an alliance that will not only enhance access to improve resilience of business in Sierra Leone through cleaner and cheaper power, but will also make energy more affordable. The availability of energy, Dr. Kabba said will help to foster a more robust environment for trade and investment, agriculture, education and will attract additional multinational or regional companies and local enterprises to the energy ecosystem. ‘This will clearly demonstrate that Sierra Leone is a viable investment destination’, he added.
The Foreign Minster assured the USAID Country Coordinator of his Ministry’s commitment and support in creating the conducive environment to implement the solar energy project in the country.
Present were: the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mrs. Nimatulai Bah-Chang; the Director General, Mr. Paul A.S. Minah; the Director for Americas and South Pacific, Rakie Marcathy; the Director for Europe, Denise E. Nicol and the Project Management Specialist- Private Partnership, Keifala Koroma