President Bio appoints himself  minister of electricity

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 29 April 2024:

President Bio has taken over full responsibility for and control of the overall management and supervision of Sierra Leone’s electricity sector, after sacking the incumbent minister of energy Kanja Sesay last week.

Kanja Sesay’s downfall came following the death of a toddler at the PCMH hospital in Freetown, where hundreds of patients’ lives are at risk because of the lack of electricity.

Sierra Leone’s electricity problem goes back decades, and successive governments have woefully failed to stem the corruption and mismanagement prevalent across the sector.

Within hours of sacking Kanja Sesay, President Bio went on to announce that he will personally take full control of electricity supplies in the country, with the assistance of two deputy energy ministers.

Sources at State House told the Sierra Leone Telegraph that with Sierra Leone poised to receive over $400 million of United States government MCC grant to support the development of the country’s energy sector, President Bio has positioned himself at the helm of negotiations with the US government as energy minister.

Idris Elba, the world renowned film actor is planning to invest tens of millions of dollars to help develop the country’s sustainable energy that could power a new tourism centre in President Bio’s hometown of Bonthe.

Critics say that the president is positioning himself to be in direct control of this vast investment programme, so as to amass huge personal wealth in this his last term in office.

However, in the short-term, the fly in the ointment remains the $30 million owed by the government of Sierra Leone to the Turkish company – Karpowership for the supply of electricity to the country’s capital Freetown.

In the last few months, Karpowership had cut electrify supply to Sierra Leone, bringing the entire capital into darkness, with risks to life and the functioning of key institutions and industry.

Immediately after the sacking of energy minister Kanja Sesay last week, the ministry of finance announced it had paid $17 million to Karpowership, leaving an outstanding balance of $31 million.

The Sierra Leone Telegraph understands that with the payment of the $17 million, President Bio was able to negotiate and guarantee the payment of not only the outstanding $31 million but ensure that the government will not default in future payments.

A statement published by Karpowership three days ago, says that the company will now resume supply of electricity to Freetown, giving a vote of confidence on President Bio’s personal control of the electricity sector.

Last week, the US government said it will only agree to release its $450 million grant aiding of Sierra Leone’s electricity sector after the government of Sierra Leone has implemented the recommendations of the Tripartite Elections Review Committee that is currently at work.

The committee is looking into the country’s electoral laws, systems, processes and mechanisms that result in the disenfranchising of the country’s electorate, since 2006 t0 2023.

Many in Sierra Leone are calling for a re-run of the 2023 election which they say was stolen by President Bio, with the help of the country’s electoral commission.

A statement published last week by the US government reads: “Thanks to the efforts of both the government and opposition to advance democracy under the Agreement for National Unity, the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation has invited the Government of Sierra Leone to begin formal negotiations next week on the scope of a compact to support Sierra Leone’s energy sector.

“Sustained democratic progress, including substantive progress on implementation of the final recommendations of the Electoral Review Commission, will need to be seen before a final compact can be approved. The start of negotiations, however, marks a significant step forward in our partnership to address Sierra Leone’s energy crisis and a tangible achievement of the ongoing political reconciliation process.”


  1. Discerning a silver lining in the darkest of clouds on Sierra Leone’s horizon, maybe and just maybe, the illegit President and new Energy minister will in the short term find efficiency savings in his globetrotting travelling budget and pay the electricity bills on time. I guess he once lived in capitalist USA and UK, and should know very well that bills have to be paid and not allowed to accrue for months on end.

    Karpowership had switched off the lights in 2021 and this year. They do not run a charity, are obligated to their bottomline, shareholders or owners. Will they do it again? It is as certain as death and taxes considering the ballooning national debt that is almost 100% Debt/GDP ratio.

    Every thing has become more than 3 x worst since 2018 under Bio’s nonchallant watch and dosing-off on the job. After 20 years in the wilderness and 6 years of stewarding a tanking economy, a divided nation and an unstable country, where will the nous, political capital and international clout come from for Bio to change the direction of travel and steer Sierra Leone from the bottom rungs of economic development ladders he has dragged the country into?

    Perhaps, this is the new direction he had in mind all along-a gravitational pull downwards to the dark abyss.

  2. Bio can amass all the government ministries in his hands, it won’t make the slightest difference in the people’s lives, there’s just too much financial indiscipline within the government led by Bio himself for anything to work . The man simply does not know or understand basic Economics. Can somebody also remind him that everything requires money? It would if he went over the concept of Opportunity Cost again in Economics.

    By way of deception Bio is trying to lay hands on the MCC funds but the Americans are too slow in the head to understand him, they just want a simple adherence to their requirements for them to part with their money. They are not being difficult – are they?

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