Britain boosts Sierra Leone’s energy, revenue sectors with 36m pounds

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Britain boosts Sierra Leone’s energy, revenue sectors with 36m pounds

Britain’s Secretary of State for International Development Douglas Alexander has announced two programmes of assistance totaling 36 million pounds to Sierra Leone. According to a statement issued here Friday, the programmes will provide support to the energy sector and the National Revenue Authority.

“Sierra Leone has made huge progress since the civil war ended a decade ago, but the Government is struggling to raise enough revenue to fund basic services like health care and education, and is still heavily dependent on aid,” the statement said.

It also said “the UK’s support to the National Revenue Authority will increase domestic revenues by the equivalent of 10 million pounds a year from 2011, and will also decrease the cost of doing business in Sierra Leone. “By modernizing the way it does business and increasing revenues, it will help Government have more money to spend on providing health care, education and basic services to its citizens,” it added.

To justify its assistance in the power sector, the statement also said a growing private sector required a reliable electricity supply. Currently, in the capital, Freetown, power generation has almost completely collapsed and rural areas have no electricity at all.

“I am pleased to announce that the UK is providing 20 million pounds to support the building up of the energy sector in Sierra Leone. “Our money, along with that of other donors, will mean that electricity availability will increase at least ten-fold,” Alexander said

”It should provide a sustainable electricity supply to the 1 million residents of Freetown and provide lighting and power for health centres, water pumping stations, colleges and police stations. I’m delighted that the UK can help Sierra Leone as it travels along the road to prosperity,” he added

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