Amin Kef Sesay: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 8 December 2021:
Vice President Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh of Sierra Leone is in Accra, Ghana, as head of a high-level delegation, including the Minister of Energy, Alhaji Kanja Sesay, to hold experience sharing discussions with Ghana’s Millennium Development Authority (MIDA) with a view to helping Sierra Leone successfully implement its MCC’s Compact Development Programs with specific reference to energy.
Vice President Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh said the team felt highly honoured and gratified to be in Ghana and was keen on learning from and adopting the Ghanaian model or approach to implementing the Compact Development Programs, noting that the visit would also further strengthen the bilateral relations between Sierra Leone and Ghana.
He said Sierra Leone has set its sight on improving the social and productive sectors with specific reference to energy generation, evacuation, distribution and governance. He said the administration of President Julius Maada Bio has increased the energy access rate in the country from 16% in 2018 to 31% in 2021, noting that solar or off grid energy has been used to make that significant improvement.
Vice President Jalloh spoke about the critical significance of electricity and catalogued the numerous challenges the country’s energy sector is faced with. He concluded by saying that he is optimistic that the team would learn immensely from the visit and could have something positive to take back home to help the country plan well in the implementation of its Compact Programs in the area of energy.
Minister of Energy, Alhaji Kanja Sesay, said electricity is a capital-intensive sector, adding that Governments normally find it very difficult to invest in its generation component.
He said there is therefore the need for private sector intervention in the sector. Kanja Sesay noted that the country is impressed with the way Ghana has implemented Compact Programs, stressing that Sierra Leone has drawn inspiration from them and is willing to learn.
Chief Executive Officer of Ghana’s Millennium Development Authority, Martin Benjamin, said his country and MIDA were highly honoured to have such a high-level delegation visiting, adding that MIDA is willing to share whatever positive experiences it has in its locker with the Sierra Leonean delegation.
He gave a general overview of MIDA’s work on Compact Programs and the Millennium Challenge purse for Africa.
Martin Benjamin called for the harmonization of efforts of different Governments and stakeholders to enable countries maximize the benefits that accrue from the American Government’s huge financial and technical investments in Africa through the Millennium Challenge Program.
Chief Executive Officer of MCCU in Sierra Leone, Ndeya Koroma, said the team is in Ghana to understand the success rate and challenges of MIDA to help Sierra Leone learn important lessons and to help the country implement its own Compact Program in an efficient manner and to make it eligible for future programs.