During the last 4 months (February to June 2019), the Africa Clean Energy Technical Advisory Facility (ACE TAF), identified a few areas of support to the new Energy Ministry in Sierra Leone. The activity involved reactivating the Off-Grid working group – a platform for off-grid stakeholders that will coordinate and synchronise all off-grid efforts towards achieving energy access – and developing an updated, refreshed Energy Compact that ensures that its actions and activities are fully aligned with the new Government’s objectives and to secure buy-in and commitments from other development partners (DPs) active in Sierra Leone.
Sierra Leone being one of the first countries to sign the Energy Africa Compact quickly benefited from the attention and support that attaining such lead position offers. The advent of the 2016 Compact signing signaled the readiness of the country to tackle the myriad challenges that plagued the energy access sector and thus attracting international investors and donor interests in the market.
The Advent of the Africa Clean Energy (ACE TAF) program, an initiative funded by the UK Government to support the enabling environment for delivering transformative solutions to off-grid customers including the broader value chain for the solar market, identified a “Quick Win” in Sierra Leone as part of its inception phase to overcome specific market barriers and to inform the programmes implementation planning.
Objectives of the Quick Win Activities:
- To re-establish the Off-Grid Working Group at the Ministry of Energy that will create a platform for the expansion of the Energy Africa Compact to include broader donor and sector buy-in and ownership of the Compact. The specific objectives are:Reactivate the Off-Grid Working Group/ Task force – which will be a convening of stakeholders and a platform to share on key sector related issues.
- Refreshing The Energy Africa Compact- This will create an opportunity for wider stakeholder engagement and validation as well as orientate new stakeholders and gives them an opportunity to make recommendations that are reflective of the current market trends that will influence an updated refreshed Compact.
ACE TAF Compact Refresh – Recommendations and Suggestions from Stakeholders
As part of ACE TAF’s “quick win” activities for Sierra Leone’s inception phase, “refreshing” the Energy Africa Compact signed in 2016 is a key activity and deliverable item. The ACE TAF consultant engaged a wide range of stakeholders working in the Energy Access/Off-Grid sector in Sierra Leone to arrive at a list of strong recommendations towards a “Refreshed Compact” that would be inclusive and validated across sector actors in the country.