Deputy Minister of Energy in collaboration with CARE Launched the ‘Solar for Beteh Biznes’ Project
The Ministry of Energy has on Thursday 27th January, 2022 at 9:00 am, launched the ‘Solar for Beteh Biznes’ (S4BB) project at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Aberdeen, Freetown. The project is in line with the Ministry’s Strategy to increase electricity and energy access nationwide, for productive use.
The key goal of the project is to develop profitable and sustainable renewable energy-enabled businesses for women through financing, capacity building and improved market access. These businesses range from agro-enterprises to focusing on key value chains-rice, palm oil, cassava, cocoa/coffee, fish and newly energy enabled women-owned businesses in mini grid sites.
In giving his keynote address the Deputy Minister of Energy Dr Eldred Taylor said that one of the mandates of the Ministry of Energy is to provide Energy for sustainable and productive use. Going further he said energy is now a fundamental human right as has been stated by his Excellency Julius Maada Bio, the president of the Republic of Sierra Leone. Therefore, one way to provide this energy is to reach out to various communities
He continued that over three years, the energy access rate has increased from 14% to now 31%, due to the intervention of the Government of President Julius Maada Bio. The Ministry of Energy as enshrined in the new direction manifesto, has improved on the use of renewable forms of energy, and that particularly has actually led to the creation
of so many mini-grid sites all over the country.
He noted that he is gladden by the statement of the various operators who spoke on the support they have been getting from the Government of Sierra Leone, and he assured them that the Ministry of Energy and the Government, will continue to provide the
incentives, such as the duty waiver.
However he continues that part of the responsibilities of the Ministry of Energy is to provide policies and regulate the enable environment and that in recent times the Ministry has been able to come up with useful policy and regulatory kinds of framework. In conclusion he explains that sometime last year, the Chief Director of the Ministry of Energy and other stakeholders and senior staff in the Ministry actually validated the Gender mainstream Energy Access Policy, of which one of the key actions is to
empower women, especially in the area of their livelihood.
Yarka-Jong Joof the country Director of CARE in her welcome statement and opening remark disclosed that 1,000 women will be benefiting from the project and it will be implemented in seven districts in Sierra Leone. The project will be rolled out in two phases, five in the first phase and two in the next phase. Bo, Moyamba, Kambia, Bombali and Koinadugu will benefit in the first phase, and Bonth, Pujehun will benefit in the next phase." CARE Sierra Leone is the implementing partner of the project which is worth $52.5m and the donor partner is Rockefeller Foundation", she said.