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Sierra Leone energy minister resigns over electricity crisis

Kanja Sesay, Sierra Leone’s minister of energy, has resigned after weeks of electricity crisis in the West African nation.

According to BBC, in his resignation letter on Friday, Sesay said he took full responsibility for the crisis.

In a statement, the government said the energy ministry has been placed under the direct supervision of President Julius Maada Bio, who will be assisted by two other officials.

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

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Sierra Leone owed the two producers $40 million.

After two months of outages, power was restored in Freetown after the payments were announced.

Since mid-April, Freetown and the cities of Bo, Kenema and Koidu have experienced multi-day stretches without electricity.

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Karpowership confirmed the payment in a statement.

“We are pleased to confirm that the electricity supply has returned to full capacity in Freetown,” the statement reads.

The company 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.

It had previously cut supplies to Sierra Leone in September over unpaid bills.

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In October, it briefly cut power to Guinea-Bissau, saying it had been left with no option “following a protracted period of non-payment”.

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