VP Juldeh Jalloh Says ECOWAS Region Needs a Radical Shift

At 5th ECOWAS Parliament  


By Amin Kef (Ranger)

A five days Delocalized Joint Meeting of the Fifth ECOWAS (Economic Community of West Africa States) Parliament on the theme: “Building the Regional Energy Market for a Just Energy Transition” has commenced on Monday 20th March, 2023 at the Conference Hall of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on Tower Hill in Freetown.

The Vice President, Dr Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, in his opening speech states: “No country will develop without energy”. He described energy as the backbone of economic development; therefore it is vital for the productive sector which holds the key to the economic development of the country.

Vice President Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh said he had the honor of delivering a statement to the ECOWAS Parliament Joint Committee meeting in Freetown on the theme Regional Energy Market and Energy Transition.

He mentioned how he  used the occasion to highlight how in the past five years under the leadership of President Julius Maada Bio, the Government has expanded energy access from 16% to 35% through increasing generation, enhancing transmission and improving governance in the sector.

The Vice President pointed out that ECOWAS’ focus on energy is very strategic because of the sector’s potential to transform productivity and bolster the region’s economy while creating enabling opportunity for member states to tap into the various potentials in the region for clean and sustainable energy.

He informed delegates from West Africa countries on measures taken by Government to transition the energy sector which was plagued with challenges in Sierra Leone since 2018.

The challenges, he said, include poor utility governance architecture, limited solar mini grid, inadequate generation and transmission line, and inadequate infrastructure to generate, transmit, and distribute electricity. He stated that the measures taken were from the elaborated strategic plan that was designed by the New Direction Government meant to turn around the energy story.

The Honourable Vice President explained that through the elaborate strategic plan, Government has increased energy to 35% across the country, provided energy access to fifty-six towns with renewable solar energy, created new generation outlets, reduced subsidy on electricity among others. He further explained about the expansion of electricity through the Transco CSLG connection to cities like Bo, Kenema, and Kono.

He said that energy access will be above 50% in few months from now. He told the audience about the relevance of governance architecture which manages the resources of the energy sector, because it reduces both commercial and technical losses.

He therefore informed about the introduction of the Private Sector Participation Policy by the Government meant to improve governance that provide the resources and supply light on a sustainable basis.

Vice President Jalloh disclosed Government’s plan to shift from utility energy that powers house, hospital, and mobile phones to productive energy that generate electricity for industrial purposes. “No country will develop without a solid productive sector. A productive sector cannot move an inch without an expansive energy access,” emphasized the Vice President.

He revealed President Bio’s philosophy to move Sierra Leone from the utility sector to a productive energy that attracts investors, and build industries that can create jobs and increase Government revenue. He expressed Government’s satisfaction with successes in the sector.

He said that the ECOWAS Region needs to make a radical shift from utility energy to productive energy. He encouraged the ECOWAS Parliament to see the need and adopt a regional approach in the energy sector that will make the transition vital for the prosperity of the Region, if ECOWAS wants to realize Vision 2050.

Honourable Sidi Tunis, Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament stated that the West Africa Parliament is committed to strengthen representative democracy and contribute to the promotion of peace and stability in the sub-region. He reaffirmed that a free, transparent and peaceful election is the surest way to ensure the transfer of the sovereignty of the people to those who govern them.

He expressed commitment to work with the ECOWAS Commission to do everything possible to guarantee free, fair, and credible elections in Sierra Leone. The meeting was attended by Members of Parliament from ECOWAS countries, and other essential staff of the House.




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