State House, Freetown, Tuesday 5 February 2019 - His Excellency, President Julius Maada Bio, has met at State House with the Chairman of the Africa Middle-East Asia, AMEA Power, Hussain J. AINowais, based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, UAE.
AMEA Power is an energy producing company that develops, owns, and operates thermal and renewable power projects in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. The company offers a wide range of power solutions that meet the needs of the emerging markets they cater to, including conventional (Gas, Coal and Oil) and Renewable (Solar PV and CSP, Wind, Hydro and Hybrid) power plants.
Sierra Leone Ambassador to the UAE, Rashid Sesay, recalled that during his courtesy call on the Dean of the Diplomatic Corp in the UAE, he spoke about the challenges of the energy sector in Sierra Leone, adding that that meeting led to his meeting with Chairman AINowais, who according to him, was one of the biggest players in the renewable energy sector in the UAE.
In his presentation, Chairman AINowais said they were very interested in investing in Sierra Leone’s energy sector. He said energy was the driving growth of any economy, adding that without energy it was difficult to grow an economy. He noted that they were now looking at investing in different African countries, having already undertaken a lot of investments in the Middle East.
“We are looking at Sierra Leone as a place for investment and I am here to explore the investment opportunities in the energy sector. We realized Sierra Leone has the potential and the need for growing its economy by investing in energy. The project will benefit Sierra Leone by generating power and expanding its base, helping to grow the economy and will also provide comfort to Sierra Leoneans,” he said.
Minister of Energy, Alhaji Kanja Sesay, said that during his visit to the UAE, he had the opportunity of meeting the Chairman who was keen on energy provision around the world. He disclosed that they both spoke about the general energy situation in Sierra Leone with particular reference to the Western Area Generation Project, which the new government inherited, but was facing challenges after the World Bank, being one of the key players, withdrew from the project.
“During our discussions Chairman AINowais got to know about the project and has expressed interest in looking at it again, so we agreed that he should visit Sierra Leone and that is why he is here with his team with whom we have done preliminary discussions at the Ministry. His team is now working with my technical team to see how we are going to progress from here,” he said.
In his response, President Bio said that energy was an important backbone for any economy and that the country could not embark on development, which was in dire need, without reliable power supply, adding that his government would welcome any project, be it government or private partnership, that would work towards creating a very reliable power supply in the country.
He mentioned that at the moment quite a huge part of the country was without energy supply but that government had been able to stabilise supply within the city, saying that the shortage of energy in the country was a longstanding problem which his government was determined to address by providing reliable energy supply.
“From what I have heard, you have shown interest and we are also interested. So, whatever we can do to support the ambition and mutual interest, we can work together and make sure we provide energy to our people. We are also ready to do anything to create a situation where the tariff can go down for our people so it is cheaper, cleaner and sustainable,” he said.
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The new Sierra Leonean Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), His Excellency Rashid Sesay has on Monday, November 19th, presented his letters of credence to His Highness the Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, during a brief ceremony held at the Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi.
During his presentation, Ambassador Sesay said that Sierra Leone and the United Arab Emirates have enjoyed a fruitful relationship over the years, adding his assignment in the UAE was in line with President Bio’s committment to further strengthen the bilateral ties between the two countries. He noted, a lot of Sierra Leoneans visit the UAE in pursuit of business opportunities and expressed optimism for future exchange visits between the two countries to further deepen the ties.
Ambassador Sesay also disclosed that since his election as President of Sierra Leone, President Julius Maada Bio was facing a lot of challenges especially because of the poor state of economy he inherited, adding the President was working tirelessly to fulfilling his campaign promises. He informed the UAE authorities about the pending visit of Sierra Leone’s Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Alie Kabba to the country in a bid to finalize and possibly sign a Memorandum of Understanding on Visa Waiver.
Also in attendance at the ceremony included Sierra Leonean staff in the UAE Embassy and the German Ambassador to the UAE who expressed optimism for more benefits to be derived from cooperation through the diversification of global economy.
By: Mohamed Massaquoi
Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr Alie Kabba has during a working visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) signed a visa waiver agreement that would give free entry into the UAE to Sierra Leonean holders of service and diplomatic passports.
The signing ceremony, which took place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Abu Dhabi, came after lots of engagements between the Government of Sierra Leone and its UAE counterpart.
Sierra Leone Ambassador to the UAE, Rashid Sesay who also witnessed the signing ceremony, said the agreement was in line with efforts by the two countries to further strengthen their diplomatic ties.
He added: “We are very happy for this move as it signifies the tremendous progress we have made in deepening our relationship with the UAE,” he ended.