Towards Universal Energy Access in West Africa: The Role of Distributed Energy Solutions for the Post-Ebola Recovery in Sierra Leone (Webinar)

30 March 2017

The Clean Energy Solutions Center, in partnership with United Nations Foundation’s Energy Access Practitioner Network, in collaboration with Power for All, hosted this webinar to highlight the impact to date, current opportunities, and remaining challenges in scaling distributed energy solutions in West Africa, focusing on Sierra Leone. The webinar was the third in the UN Foundation's country-focused webinar series that seeks to delve into the state of energy access across different parts of the world, starting with countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

Sierra Leone is identified among the “large gap” category of Sustainable Energy for All’s target priority countries. While the country has significant energy potential, according to the government, Sierra Leone only provides 15% of electricity to urban communities, while the rural parts of the country benefit from only 1% of energy access, amounting to a mere 10% access rate for the overall population. As a further complication, a number of energy access projects had to be halted or canceled due to the Ebola outbreak in 2014.

The webinar explored the role of distributed energy solutions in promoting the economic recovery of Sierra Leone, in addition to the social benefits brought by access to modern energy services. It focused on the implementation of the UK Department for International Development (DfID)’s Energy Africa Compact.

Yasemin Erboy Ruff, Senior Officer, Energy and Climate, United Nations Foundation, will introduce the topic and provide context to the broader country focus webinar series.

Ing. Benjamin Kamara, Director of Energy, Ministry of Energy of Sierra Leone, will provide a keynote address and describe the government’s continued work to implement the Energy Africa Compact in Sierra Leone, in particular focusing on the role of decentralized energy solutions for the post-Ebola recovery efforts in Sierra Leone.

Aminata Dumbuya, Campaign Leader, Sierra Leone, Power for All, will introduce work under way in the context of the Energy Africa Compact alongside the ministry of energy and other stakeholders, and give insight on the progress and challenges that Sierra Leone is facing as we implement on Compact commitments.

Alexandre Toure, Co-Founder & CEO, Easy Solar, will provide a business perspective to the energy access market in Sierra Leone as a Power for All partner and member of the Renewable Energy Association of Sierra Leone, and showcase impact made collectively to date.

The presentations will be followed by an interactive question and answer session with the audience, guided by Yasemin Erboy Ruff.

The hashtag #PNwebinar will be used on social media during the webinar.


Yasemin Erboy RuffYasemin Erboy Ruff, Senior Officer, Energy and Climate, United Nations Foundation

Yasemin Erboy Ruff is a Senior Officer with the UN Foundation's Energy and Climate team, primarily assisting in coordinating efforts to scale up energy access in developing countries. She manages the day-to-day operational coordination and strategic planning of the UN Foundation’s Energy Access Practitioner Network, and she serves as the Energy and Climate team's focal point for research and writing support on materials related to the energy access issue area. Prior to joining the UN Foundation, Yasemin majored in environmental science at Columbia University and gained her master's degree in environmental management at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, with a focus on climate change and resource management.

Aminata Dumbuya

Aminata leads the Power for All campaign in Sierra Leone. She secured the campaign as the sector leader and the “go to” on energy access and specifically decentralized renewable energy issues in the country. With the launch of The Energy Revolution in Sierra Leone, Power for All, through the steer and direction of Ms. Dumbuya, plays a key role in building the market in Sierra Leone with strategic engagement with Government through the Ministry of Energy by helping to formulate and implement on industry policies that will create a sustainable and enabling environment for private sector players. She has over 15 years of experience in business, consulting, advocacy and marketing, and qualifications from the London School of Business and Finance and San Diego State University.

Alexandre Tourre

Alexandre Tourre is the CEO and co-founder of Azimuth, a West African company distributing pico-solar products on a rent-to-own basis, and operating in Sierra Leone under the name "Easy Solar". Prior to that, he worked in the field of Mobile Money and Financial Inclusion in Kenya and Afghanistan, and has 5 years of experience as an M&A, Strategy and Financial consultant at PwC. He holds an MPA in Technology & Economic Development from Columbia University, an MSc in Advanced Computing from Imperial College and a Master’s degree in Energy & Telco from CentraleSupelec.