Sierra Leone Telegraph: 15 August 2018:
Canadian Minister of International Development Marie-Claude Bibeau held discussions yesterday with Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation – Alie Kabba, in Freetown.
The Canadian international development minister was in Freetown to renew Canada’s relationship with Sierra Leone, as part of Canada’s commitment to strength ties with Africa and help address the challenges faced by the continent.
Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said that the aim of her visit was to further strengthen the bilateral cooperation between the two countries and to meet with government officials, women leaders and development partners to discuss common priorities, such as advancing the rights of women and girls, including sexual and reproductive health rights, sustainable and inclusive development, and peace and security.
The Canadian Minister of International Development – Marie-Claude Bibeau was accompanied by the High Commissioner of Canada who is resident in Ghana – Ms. Heather Anne Cameron.
Speaking with the Canadian minister, Dr Alie Kabba, underscored the significance of the visit which he said will broaden and deepen the existing bilateral relations between the two countries.
Dr. Kabba lauded the contributions of the Canadian government in supporting humanitarian assistance in Sierra Leone, especially healthcare – including reproductive health, and peacebuilding.
He also spoke about the long-standing bilateral relations between Canada and the Republic of Sierra Leone which he said goes back to the country’s independence in 1961.
Dr. Kabba expressed his sincere thanks and appreciation to the Canadian government on behalf of president Bio and the people of Sierra Leone, for their support and assistance over the years, especially during the Ebola outbreak.
A few weeks ago, the country coordinator for USAID – Khadijat Mojidi, held a meeting with Dr Alie Kabba to discuss America’s funding for the development of a cross boundary solar project for Sierra Leone, in support of president Bio’s government New Direction Strategy.
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, said that this support is part of the USA’s new Global Development Alliance to promote sustainable energy through the USAID’s Cross Boundary Solar Project.
The agreement, she said will establish an alliance between USAID, Cross Boundary Energy Holdings (CBE- based in Mauritius) and Cross Boundary Energy Holdings (LLC – based in Washington, DC) 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.
The project will be launched in September 2018, the USAID Country Coordinator said.
Minister Alie Kabba expressed thanks and appreciation to the 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.
He said that the availability of energy will help to foster a more robust environment for trade and investment, agriculture, education as well as 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.