Minister of Planning Joins World Leaders to Call for Clean Energy in the Fragile StatesFreetown, Sierra Leone, Wednesday 24 February 2021— The Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Dr. Francis Kai-Kai has, today, on behalf of HE President Dr. Julius Maada Bio, used the “Powering up energy investment in the Fragile States“ Call to Action launch to assert that investments in green technologies, such as solar mini-grids, are needed urgently to bring affordable and sustainable sources of electricity to millions living in countries affected by fragility. The Call to Action online event, urges the private sector and aid agencies, supported by development finance institutions (DFIs), to work closely with governments of conflict-affected countries to design financing mechanisms, regulatory frameworks, and business models that can be deployed at scale to support investment in renewable energy. The Minister said in many fragile and post-conflict settings, the provision of affordable energy meant investment in Human Capital Development, economic diversification, and job creation for the youth and women— all of which, he said, contributed to the Peace Dividend and continuous peacebuilding. “Sierra Leone and other g7+ member countries cannot achieve our goals of reducing poverty, creating jobs, and ensuring lasting peace and stability if a large portion of our populations cannot access electricity. Lack of access to sustainable and affordable electricity has made it difficult for our countries to attain economic self-reliance, a necessary condition for sustaining peace and to cope with a crisis such as COVID-19”, said Dr. Kai-Kai. He also said people would be disproportionately affected by the negative effects of climate change, and that their governments were committed to supporting investments in clean energy in their countries. The former UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, in his statement, said of the 800 million people in the world without electricity, almost 90% of them lived in fragile states. He said global action on climate change was vital, and that they must not leave those in fragile countries behind. Mr. Cameron noted that as host of this year’s COP26 and G7 Summit, the UK, in particular, could send a strong signal to other donor countries and lead efforts to invest in local, renewable energy sources. In her address, former President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, said the COVID-19 crisis had derailed decades of progress on extreme poverty and would continue to have devastating indirect effects on fragile states. Ms. Sirleaf said a global, concerted push to invest in clean energy in fragile countries could transform lives by powering homes, businesses, schools, and hospitals— which, she said, would be critical for these countries to recover from the pandemic and chart a sustainable path to stability. The Call’s current signatories include Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, Yemeni Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed, Former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, Former President of Timor-Leste José Ramos-Horta, and 40 other political leaders and organizations. The Call is led by the Council on State Fragility— co-chaired by former UK Prime Minister David Cameron, former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and former President of the African Development Bank Donald Kaberuka— and the g7+, an intergovernmental organization bringing together 20 countries affected by conflict and fragility.