Sierra Leone: Moving Forward After Ebola

A woman selling belts in a Freetown market. (Photo courtesy NRECA International)

Civil war. Industrial collapse. Ebola. Sierra Leone, one of the poorest countries in the world, has suffered setback after setback to development.

Less than 10 percent of the country’s population has access to electricity. But its government is committed to changing that. Earlier this year, Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Energy contracted with NRECA International to develop a national transmission and distribution investment plan.

Funded by the World Bank, the plan will first be used to expand electric service in Freetown, the capital, and surrounding areas. A countrywide analysis will recommend options for further electrification over the next 15 years.

“Like many of its neighbors, the people of Sierra Leone will benefit greatly from having a reliable source of electricity to help them advance socially and economically,” says Dan Waddle, senior vice president for NRECA International. “We look forward to helping the government with a clear path toward expanding access to electricity in the rural communities.”

NRECA’s team is based in Freetown and will take about nine months to complete the project.

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This story was originally published in RE Magazine.