A two-day international conference on renewable energy is underway in Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown, to exchange notes and rally potential investments into the sector, organizers say.
The Mano River Union Renewable Energy and Clean Cooking Summit enters its second day on Tuesday, 19 November 2019, at the Radisson Blu Mammy Yoko Hotel. The Ministry of Energy is convening the event in collaboration with the office of lawmaker and specialist in renewable energy, Dr Kandeh Yumkella.
The conference attracts participants that include ministers, parliamentarians and civil society leaders from the Mano River Union countries as well as more delegates from abroad.
The organizers say the summit will identify concrete opportunities for regional cooperation on a project level through knowledge and data sharing. It will also enhance 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.
The sessions include ministerial round table talks with a focus on five principal themes; energy access, regional trade, energy-economic development/energy-health nexus, clean cooking, and utilities.
There will be presentations on priority projects, critical issues on the need to secure base load power and generation planning. The conference will also present on key successes and new opportunities in the respective sectors of the speakers.
The Minister of Energy, Sesay, said, in a statement issued to journalists, that the conference is part of the Sierra Leone government’s efforts to ensure universal access to affordable and clean energy for its people.
“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,” Sesay 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,” added Dr Yumkella.