Press release: TENN and SELCO Foundation partner to drive Sustainable Energy Innovation in Sierra Leone

TENN (The Energy Nexus Network), a regional energy ecosystem hub in Sierra Leone and SELCO Foundation, an Indian NGO are pleased to announce that they have agreed on a strategic partnership to combine their expertise and build innovative sustainable energy delivery models for the rural population in Sierra Leone starting with the district of Kambia. SELCO has set-up the Global SDG7 Hubs as a practitioner-driven, knowledge exchange and implementation platform to improve development outcomes globally using sustainable energy as a critical catalyst. TENN has similarly built an energy platform in Sierra Leone to strengthen inter-sector linkages and partnerships between energy and key sustainable development themes such as poverty alleviation, health, food security, education, water supply, climate change and the environment.

Sierra Leone’s energy access scenario is seen as a major developmental barrier in the country. There is extremely limited on-grid electricity access and grid extension to sparsely populated and remote areas of the country. Reaching those communities with on-grid electricity can be a cost intensive affair and this may not happen any time soon. This makes decentralized clean energy solutions designed with innovative technological, financial and business models relevant for the country to reduce vulnerability and bring long term socio-economic benefits to underserved rural populations.

Speaking about the partnership, Huda Jaffer, Director of SELCO Foundation added, “SELCO is keen to leverage the learnings from its success and failures in India over the years to ensure young practitioners working on SDG 7 have a solid foundation which is rooted in practitioner-driven thought processes. Creation of the Global SDG7 Hubs is our effort in this direction. We see immense scope for cross learning, whether in the form of challenges faced by the rural populations or the ecosystem factors that can be enabled to solve these challenges. It is with this conviction that we partner with TENN to build local capacity for innovation and replication of sustainable energy innovations in Sierra Leone. We see our partnership with TENN as a strong long-term collaboration to achieve critical SDGs for Sierra Leone via SDG 7.” 

“TENN is building from the missteps and best practices that have made SELCO Foundation a renowned brand in the global renewable energy landscape through the energy ecosystems approach,” added Dr. Paul T. Yillia, Technical Advisor, TENN. “Energy is our main entry point for key sustainable development objectives like improving livelihoods and wellbeing through healthcare, fisheries/livestock and agri-value chain. We intervene to understand the enabling conditions necessary for scaling and replicating renewable energysolutions that are cost effective. We are hopeful that the strategic partnership with SELCO Foundation through the Global SDG7 Hubs will provide a blueprint for scaling and replicating innovative sustainable energy delivery models for rural populations in Sierra Leone and the sub-region”.

Over the next few years, this synergized partnership will focus on designing multiple programs around innovation and incubation in Sierra Leone starting with Kambia District, each of which will aim to further the network of grassroots level regional energy champions. There is immense potential to use clean energy to improve rural Healthcare and introduce productive use of energy technologies within the Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock to improve rural livelihoods in Sierra Leone.

The program has begun with focusing on building SDG7 models in livelihood and health within Kambia Districtthrough the BREAD for Life program (Building Resilient Ecosystems Around Decentralized Renewable Energy in Sierra Leone). The program is supported by global partners like Good Energies Foundation and DOEN Foundation.

 

About Global SDG-7 Hubs

Global SDG 7 Hubs is a practitioner-driven, knowledge exchange and implementation platform to improve inclusive development outcomes in the Global South via Sustainable Energy (SDG7) as a critical catalyst, particularly for underserved populations. For more information, please visit our website.

About TENN (The Energy Nexus Network)

TENN is a regional energy ecosystem hub in Sierra Leone that is working with local and international partners to understand and strengthen the energy enabling sectors and accelerate scaling of renewable energy and clean cooking solutions for productive uses and improved wellbeing.