Sierra Leone has become the first country participating in the UK’s Energy Africa Campaign to sign an energy agreement and its government is intent on providing electricity to all its 6 million people as part of its post-Ebola recovery plans, with a focus on decentralized home solar solutions.

Currently less than 12% of people in urban areas, and less than 1% in rural areas, have access to modern energy services in Sierra Leone. The government have signed up to supplying basic power to all of its people within 9 years (by 2025),  introducing household solar to all 149 chiefdoms in the country within the next 18 months and taking steps to eliminate import duties and VAT on qualified, internationally certified solar products.
Energy Africa lightbulb
The measures were announced at an “Energy Revolution” event by President Ernest Bai Koroma. The goals are part of on official compact between the Sierra Leone government and UKAID’s Energy Africa campaign. It was the 1st Energy Africa has concluded, and several others are expected to follow later in the year. 

The signing between the UK and Government of Sierra Leone will take 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 Government aims to deliver off-grid technology and solar home systems to its population, as a means of eradicating the country’s energy poverty.

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.

“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 UK’s International Development Minister Nick Hurd.

“Light is right,” said the Minister of Energy, Ambassador Henry Macauley who will also be presenting at the conference.