By Ishmael Bayoh
Senegal’s Ministry of Petroleum and Gas in Dakar Tuesday engaged the visiting Sierra Leone MCC or the Millennium Challenge Coordination delegation to that country on energy reformation to share their experience with the Anglophone country officials.
Sierra Leone’s dele, headed by the country’s Vice-president, Dr Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh headed to Senegal last week to learn more from the francophone country’s compact development process.
Tuesday, January 26th, the delegation spent a working session with the Minister of Petroleum and Gas, Sophie Gladima and staff.
Welcoming the delegation at the ministry, the minister started by congratulating Sierra Leone on its MCC Compact qualification. She said Sierra Leone must be proud of such achievement that is sure to trigger sustainable development.
On the issue of energy provision, the Minister underlined that essentially, Senegal prioritized energy in her MCC compact funding. She said the objective was to have universal energy by 2025 since energy was important for economic development in the country, especially for the mining sector.
Giving an overview of their priority in the MCC implementation, Senegal’s MCC Focal Person who happens to be the Permanent Secretary in the Energy Ministry, Bakary Diop noted that their MCC Compact focus was on energy; how to reform the sector to catch up with emerging demands. This according to him was through policy reforms, modernization and evacuation of electricity as well as taking into consideration universal access to electricity.
Bakary Diop said, “when Senegal became eligible for the MCC, a special unit was established by the president to coordinate activities under the program, including undertaking a wide range of consultations.”
He said during their implementation process the private sector was also involved and shared lessons learnt. “We had several IPP providers and we took into consideration security and guarantee for the number of years they would provide the services. We objected to the Build-Operate-Transfer system because where the provider would give a service for like 15- years, by the time the equipment is returned to the state they are in bad shape. The BOT system is not good so we prefer where the service provider can be given a contract for a specific number of years.
This allayed the concerns of Sierra Leone’s Minister of Finance, Jacob Jusu Saffa who was keen to know how Senegal managed the role of the private sector in electricity generation and distribution during their implementation stage.
Energy Minister, Alhaji Kanja Sesay also wanted to know how that country was going with their rural electrification and the capacity generated so far.
To that, an official, Issa Dione responded that Senegal uses 1,400 megawatts with 76% of access in the country and above 50% rural electrification.
The delegation continues its experience sharing visitation.