Sierra Leone signs compact with the UK at its first-ever renewable energy conference FREETOWN: Sierra Leone became the first country participating in the UK’s Energy Africa campaign to sign an agreement to ensure power for all Sierra Leoneans by 2025. The Government of Sierra Leone will eliminate tax on qualified internationally certified renewable energy products to ensure modern power to 1 million people by 2020. This will position Sierra Leone as a leader in promoting renewable energy – both for investors and its citizens. The signing between the UK and Government of Sierra Leone took place during the country’s first-ever decentralized renewable energy conference in the nation's history at Bintumani Conference Centre on 10th May. Over 500 people will witness the landmark agreement, including 149 paramount chiefs, government officials, local businesses, and international renewable energy companies. The Energy Revolution event was hosted by Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Energy and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID). The one-day event, organised by global development experts Adam Smith International, is the launch of a series of renewable energy initiatives to eradicate energy poverty in Sierra Leone. The Government aims to deliver off-grid technology and solar home systems to its population, where currently less than 1% have access power in rural areas. Sierra Leone is one of ten African nations that have joined the UK’s Energy Africa campaign to expedite universal energy access to lift millions out of poverty and end dependency on aid. The Minister of Energy Henry Macauley and the UK’s International Development Minister Nick Hurd signed the unprecedented Sierra Leone Energy Africa Compact agreement launching the Energy Revolution. His Excellency the President of Sierra Leone Ernest Bai Koroma was the confirmed keynote speaker and championed this new agreement that reinforces his Government’s commitment to provide all its citizens with access to reliable, affordable, and sustainable energy. “It is unacceptable that today more than 600 million people across sub-Saharan Africa do not have access to electricity. In Sierra Leone alone, less than 10% of the population have electricity, and in rural areas where the majority of people live, it is practically non-existent,” said Minister Hurd. “Working in partnership with Sierra Leone, the Energy Africa campaign can help to change that. I am very proud to sign the first ever compact agreement on this campaign with the Government of Sierra Leone to ignite the solar energy market - helping to power business, hospitals and homes, making sure the poorest people no matter where they live can access clean, reliable and affordable energy.” In addition to the Presidential Address and signing of the Compact, the Energy Revolution also included:
The official launch announcement of the Renewable Energy Association of Sierra Leone
A trade fair & exhibition supported by Power for All, a collective of public and private organizations dedicated to delivering universal energy access before 2030
Attendance by the country’s top renewable energy companies and international industry leaders
“Light is right,” said the Minister of Energy, Ambassador Henry Macauley who was also presenting at the conference.