Sierra Leone Telegraph: 10 December 2018:
Last Saturday, 8 December 2018, president Julius Maada Bio attended a high level meeting in the Haqyatt Resort, Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt where he held discussions with the directors of the Egyptian energy producing company – El Sewedy Electrometer, about possible investment in Sierra Leone.
Chairman and CEO of the company – Emad Z. Elsewedy, told the president that his company was in Sierra Leone in 2004 to deliver a meter installation programme, an opportunity he described as his company’s opening to Africa.
He said that El Sewedy Electrometer specialises in producing and distributing energy, as well as collecting electricity revenue.
Inadequate monitoring in the collection of electricity revenue he said, is a huge challenge for most African countries, which in turn affects their ability to generate sufficient electricity and improve access.
Mr Elsewedy informed president Bio that his company is ready to invest in Sierra Leone, not only in terms of managing the country’s electricity networks, but also in developing the country’s human resources through knowledge and skills transfer.
He said that El Sewedy Electrometer could be of great help to the energy sector in Sierra Leone, especially in generating more electricity to improve access. His company he said, has the capacity to produce 6,000 electricity meters annually.
“Ineffective collection of energy revenue has been a huge challenge in most African countries we have been to. This is even affecting the production level in some countries because if the cash flow does not improve, the production level would also be affected. We have a 24-hours’ system to detect any illegal tampering of electricity that we connect through GSM. This system increases both the cash flow and transparency levels,” he said.
President Bio informed Mr El Sewedy that over the years Sierra Leone has faced serious challenges in the electricity sector, which he is hoping to address within the shortest possible time.
He said that his government is determined to increase electricity output across the country, in order to meet the needs and consumption of both households and industry.
The president discussed the challenges faced not only in the production of energy but also in its distribution and metering, which he said needs to be addressed urgently.
He assured Mr El Sewedy that Sierra Leone is opened for business, and that his government is ready to open the space for credible investments that would benefit the country.
“Energy for us is very important because we want to provide enough of it at a sustainable level for our people. We are interested in the proposal for the meter billing because we want to establish a proper system for the management and collection of revenues we make in the energy sector. We encourage you to come to our country and we will look at the financing models involved so that it will be done on mutual benefits,” he said.
The El Sewedy Electrometer is an Egyptian energy producing company that innovates in new technologies, metering solutions and services that support its customers across the globe to overcome their operational challenges, improving the rate of revenue collection, reducing the level of non-technical losses as well as managing their consumers load during peak hours.
The company has its facilities in Ghana, Ethiopia, and Zambia respectively and also in India, Brazil, and Mexico.