Sierra Leone’s energy minister resigns over electricity crisis

Sierra Leone Energy Minister Alhaji Kanja Sesay resigns

Sierra Leone’s minister of energy has resigned from office.

Alhaji Kanja Sesay resigned on Friday against a backdrop of recent interruptions to the country’s electricity supply.

The reasons for Sesay’s resignation were not officially explained, and the energy ministry did not respond to a request for comment.

The ministry has been placed under the direct supervision of President Julius Maada Bio, who will be assisted by two other officials, according to a press release from the presidency sent to AFP on Friday evening.

Sesay’s resignation came hours after the government paid a total of $18.5 million to two power providers, Turkish Karpowership and Transco-CLSG group.

Sierra Leone owed the two producers a total of $40 million.

It was not immediately clear whether Sesay’s resignation was related to the payments.

After two months of outages, power was restored in Freetown after the payments were announced, according to an AFP journalist.

Karpowership has been supplying electricity to Sierra Leone since 2018 from a floating offshore unit, but it had reduced its capacity from 65 megawatts to just five in recent months due to payment issues.

“We are pleased to confirm that the electricity supply has returned to full capacity in Freetown,” the Turkish group said in a statement after the latest payment was announced.

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