A team led by the Country Director of the Sierra Leone Compact Design Tina Yu from the Millennium Challenge Cooperation has on Tuesday briefed the Deputy Minister II of Finance Mr. Sheku F Bangura on the progress and stages in the MCC compact design and possible implementation.
According to Tina Yu, they are doing a wide range of consultations with various stakeholders including farmers, traders, private sector players, government Ministries, Department and Agencies like the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Energy and Agriculture, noting that these consultations will be very helpful in designing a successful compact that will impact on the life of all Sierra Leoneans.
“We want the Compact to be well designed and implemented within five years,” she added.
Tina Yu Country director furthered that the MCC is interested in the reforms the government is making in the energy sector to support the compact implementation and also stated that the MCC prioritize the issues of gender inclusiveness, clean energy, and issues around climate change which she said are part of the medium-term national development plan.
Making her contribution Ndaye Koroma who is the National Coordinator of the Sierra Leone Compact Development Unit at the office of the Vice President, stated that they have submitted the concept note for the compact design with the issue of leveraging on sustainable energy to ensure food security and other areas in the productive sector.
Sahr Lahai Jusu Financial Secretary thanked the team for the engagement stating that consultation and dialogue are critical at the design stage of the project for it to be successful.
He said that so many people misunderstood passing the scorecard and the actual compact development, design, and implementation processes.
He said the energy sector has been very challenging even with all the reforms and resources the government has invested in the sector. The Financial Secretary continued that sustainable and affordable electricity can leverage on storage and agro-processing for farmers in agriculture thereby reducing food insecurity and poverty.
He encouraged the MCC to create a platform in which private sector players will be at the center of the energy transformation.
In his statement, the Deputy Minister II of Finance Sheku F Bangura stated that the Government of President Bio wants to capitalize on the opportunities of the MCC compact program.
He continued that Sierra Leone has huge potential for clean energy through solar, hydro, and gas power.
The Deputy Minister assured the team of government commitment to supporting the team and the compact design unit to ensure that the process is seamless with minimum slowdowns or bottlenecks that might have the tendencies to delay the compact design and possible implementation.
US Ambassador to Sierra Leone Amb. David Reimer said that he is delighted with the performance of the team so far stating that this compact program is one of the biggest tangible projects between Sierra Leone and the United States of America.
Sierra Leone was selected by the MCC board for a compact program that is expected to transform the energy sector in Sierra Leone after the design stage, approval of the design, and the possible signing of the compact itself.