By Austine Luseni
A high-powered delegation from the United States Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation, MCC, has called on Sierra Leone’s Energy Minister, Alhaji Kanja Sesay, where the leader of the delegation, Kyeh Kim, assured the Minister of the Corporation’s determination to help advance the development of the country’s first energy-based Compact Program.
It could be recalled that in December 2020, the MCC’s Board of Directors selected Sierra Leone as eligible to develop a Compact. The Government of Sierra Leone had therefore requested the MCC and the Sierra Leone Compact Development Unit, SLCDU, to develop a Compact that directly addresses the lack of affordable and reliable electricity in the country.
MCC’s Principal Deputy Vice President of Compact Operations, who was also head of the delegation, Kyeh Kim, said she was visiting Sierra Leone for the first time and was delighted to have led such a high-level team to the country.
She spoke about the interest of the Corporation in pursuing the right conditions for the necessary reforms in the energy sector and commended the Government of Sierra Leone on the quality of the project proposals and its sheer determination in alleviating the energy constraints in the country.
The Principal Deputy Vice President observed that there was a critical need for reliable energy in Sierra Leone, assuring that the MCC would bring its years of experience in energy in the sub-region to bear positively on Sierra Leone’s energy aspirations through effective and efficient collaboration.
She concluded by reiterating the commitment of the MCC to partnering with Sierra Leone given the country’s continued progress on the scorecard, especially in the area of democratic good governance, saying that it was her hope that the gains made would be consolidated.
While thanking the team for the visit, Minister of Energy, Alhaji Kanja Sesay, underscored the crucial importance of energy, stating that reliable and affordable energy was the bedrock of the New Direction administration’s energy aspirations. He said he was quite pleased with the fact that the priorities identified by the Government were in tune with the MCC’s initial assessment of the sector.
He said his Ministry was sparing no efforts in its quest to markedly improve the areas of generation, transmission and distribution and commended the MCC for not only working towards addressing these areas that the Ministry was keenly focused on, but for providing assistance to the reform endeavors in the constituent utilities of the Ministry of Energy.
Mr. Sesay said that the private sector participation in the Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority, EDSA, was a key government reform that was being facilitated by the Government of Sierra Leone with support from the World Bank with a view to helping the utility become much more efficient and sustainable.
The team from the MCC, including the Principal Deputy Vice President, Madam Kyeh Kim, MCC’s Energy Director, Kate Lovanna, was accompanied by senior staff of the United States Embassy in Sierra Leone.
Also present at the meeting were members of the Sierra Leone Compact Development Unit.