Sierra Leone Telegraph: 18 November 2019:
Sierra Leone’s Minister of Energy – Alhaji Kanja Sesay, and Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella – Member of Parliament representing Constituency 062 – who is also the Founder and Chairman of The Energy Nexus Network (TENN), have announced that Sierra Leone will host the first ever Mano River Union Renewable Energy and Clean Cooking Summit, on 18 -19 November at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Freetown.
The conference which has attracted participants – including ministers, parliamentarians and civil society leaders from the Mano River Union – Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire and Guinea, will join more than 50 delegates from abroad who have confirmed their attendance and have arrived in Freetown.
Speakers will include: President Julius Maada Bio, Minister Alhaji Kanja Sesay, Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella MP (Photo – above), United States Ambassador in Freetown – Maria E Brewer; German Ambassador to Sierra Leone – Horst Gruner; Ambassador and Mano River Union Secretary-General – Medina A Wesseh; Liberia’s Minister of Energy – G. Murray; Cote d’Ivoire’s Minister of Petroleum, Energy and Renewable Energy – Aboudramane Cisse; Guinea’s Minister of Energy – Dr. Cheik Taliby Sylla; Power Africa Coordinator – Andrew Herscowitz; Chair of the Global Renewables Congress and Former MP of the German Bundestag and Acting Commissioner for Energy Reform in Africa – Barbel Hohn.
Other speakers include: The Executive Director for ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy (ECREEE); World Future Council Advisor Ing. – Stefan Schurig; German Development Bank – Esther Drumm; Hivos Global Coordinator Climate, Energy and Development Eco Matser; World Bank Energy Specialist Rahul Srinivasan; Lead Designer SELCO Foundation Huda Jaffer; Power Africa Senior Policy Officer Benjamin Laag; Tony Blair Institute (TBI) for Global Change Energy Access Policy Advisor Tessa Lee; TBI Power Africa Regional Adviser Sergio Portatadino; PowerGen Energy Joseph Harrington; UNOPS Country Manager Nick Gardner; GIZ-MRU Hartlieb Euler; Ministry of Energy Adviser Dr. Patrick Tarawalli; REASL President Kofie Maculay.
Speaking about the conference, Sierra Leone’s Minister of Energy – Alhaji Kanja Sesay said: “The government of President Julius Maada Bio is working hard to ensure his vision for providing universal access to affordable and clean energy is translated into action. I am privileged to lead these efforts and welcome all partners and donors to this historic summit.”
Dr Kandeh Yumkella said: “Energy issues are critical for Sierra Leone’s socio-economic development, the MRU countries and sub-Saharan Africa in general. We are happy that we can host the first MRU conference here in Freetown and look forward to working with our partners as we showcase the potential of our countries and work collaboratively to advance solutions needed to bring our people out of energy poverty.”
President Julius Maada Bio (Photo) will deliver the keynote address at the plenary session, following which, conference participants will join breakout sessions for in-depth discussions to further explore the themes of the summit.
– There will be a Ministerial roundtable with a focus on 5 principal themes; energy access, regional trade, energy-economic development/energy-health nexus, clean cooking, and utilities.
– Presentation of priority projects, critical issues on the need to secure baseload power and generation planning as well as key successes, new opportunities in their respective sectors;
– The summit will identify concrete opportunities for regional cooperation (on a project level and through knowledge and data sharing;
– Enhancing the capabilities of national and sub-regional legislators, who have a critical role to play in scaling-up renewable energy and MRU sub-regional integration;
– Overview of sub-regional integration efforts for energy development in the MRU;
– Building an MRU Coalition of Leader for Change around Clean Cooking. Three billion people around the world rely on polluting open fires and inefficient stoves to cook their meals causing about four million deaths per annum – more than malaria and tuberculosis combined.
Read the event Agenda here: