By Joseph Turay
The British High Commissioner to Sierra Leone Lisa Chesney has said that Sierra Leone will be invited on the COP-206 UK Climate change conference that will be taking place on the 31st October to November 2021 in the United Kingdom.
Commissioner Lisa said the UK-Sierra Leone relationship has brought along history and her primary Goal is to make sure that she take such relationship from strength to strength.
She continued to say that a country like Sierra Leone is vulnerable to climate change and that she will make sure that Sierra Leone’s bio-diversity is protected in order to foster economic growth.
The Commissioner added that some of her top priorities in her agenda are making sure that they focus more on climate change, human capital development, health, education and economic growth and commended the government of Sierra Leone for working on some of these areas.
She continued to say that the conference is to bring world leaders Climate change campaigners expertise come together to take action to tackle climate and protect the environment.
She said some of the most challenging issues Sierra Leone is facing were biodiversity adding that Sierra Leone is international insignificant in it biodiversity and deforestation because 80% of Sierra Leoneans depend on wood and coal and it is challenging on climate point of view.
She continued that the British High commission and the national council will be showing 5 films to mitigate some of this activities is to raise awareness on climate change by using awareness using the talent of sierra Leoneans film makers.
The Commissioner said during the Cop-26 climate change summit they will be inviting all countries to come along with national develop constitution plan adding that her government is ready to work with every one including civil societies.
‘’Because Sierra Leone is making more progress in putting policies on climate change therefore the country need to have access on climate change finances provided by development countries’’ she said.
The Commissioner said access to energy is another important priority the government of UK has invested €65M. in renewable energy for the smart climate policy and sierra Leone will be a beneficiary in that policy.
Adding Sierra Leone has water power and the UK government with the World Bank has looked out for a power line between Bo and Keneme and mini solar grid that will be benefit about 600,000 people of Sierra Leone having access to energy.
Commissioner Lisa Chesney ended that in achieving this challenges there must be an involvement with all the formal and informal sectors including government and the civil societies.
Civil Rights Coalition Calls for Tax Waiver On Smartphones
By Feima Sesay
Internet is now considered as a significant part of the daily life of people and contributes in the development of nations across the world sharing and exchanging ideas, information and connecting business people, government schemes worldwide.
It is against this backdrop that Alphonso Manley, National Coordinator of the Civil Rights Coalition, on Friday 1st October 2021 at his Fort street in Freetown, called on the government of Sierra Leone to offer tax waiver to smart phones importers.
According to him, Africa is yet to catch up with Europe and the United States digital economy, and internet access is a key driver for economic growth and societal development. He said as a factor to achieve the sustainable Development Goal (SDG), and also the need to access basic services through digital means, such as E- governance, E- education and E-health and mobiles, which he said is now the most reliable, cheapest and easiest way for financial transaction and other major electronic services.
Alphonso further stated that Sierra Leone still has the lowest internet penetration, standing at 18% which he said is as a result of the low access to smart phones in the country, as compared to other nations across Africa that have high penetration with rural connectivity. He stated that the problem is that mobile Network o
He added that GST tax custom duty on smart phones, which will in turn increase access to smart phones and digital penetration in the country, should be removed, adding that majority of the population rely on smart phones to access internet that will pave the way for Mobile Network Operators to reduce the prices on data.
Orange Making Remarkable Footprint in Africa & Europe
By Feima Sesay
Orange is in Sierra Leone with a strong industrial project that will lead to invest significantly to cover most of the population in the country with telecom services. As a result, Orange can now comfortably boast of the widest network in Sierra Leone covering about 85% of the country. Their ambition is to deliver an unmatched customers experience.
The desire to increase customer satisfaction with the fastest internet speed on the widest coverage was central to this dream. Today, Orange SL have far more sites than any other telecom service provider in sierra Leone with more than 445 sites carrying voice and date with the best customer experience nationwide thereby connecting thousands of new localities.
Orange’s Green Energy projects in Africa and the Middle East targeting 2040.
This project is geared towards ensuring that the company’s operations are environmental friendly whilst promoting health and safety. Orange is accelerating its solar projects in Africa and the Middle East to reduce its carbon footprint to zero by 2040. Across the entire region, many sites are not connected to the electricity grid and when they are, the quality of the grid often requires alternative backup solutions. To avoid using generators that run on fuel (fossil energy that emits CO2), Orange is putting in place several initiatives such as solar panels.
Orange wants to be the major stakeholder of choice in the energy transition. In several of its subsidiaries, Orange is deploying innovative solar solutions and the latest generation batteries with partners specializing in energy. To reduce its environmental footprint, the Group is positioning itself in these countries as the biggest deployer of solar panels, with a renewable energy use rate already at over 50% for Orange Guinea, 41% for Orange Madagascar and 40% for Orange Sierra Leone. Orange has installed solar panels at 5,400 of its telecom sites (some 100% solar, others hybrid) saving 55 million liters of fuel each year.
Furthermore, Orange SL has migrated 353 of its sites from generator to clean and renewable energy helping to reduce its carbon footprint, thereby reducing its CO2 emissions by 72% kilotons.
Orange continues to provide job opportunity for thousands of Sierra Leoneans directly and indirectly.
There are currently 8 Directors in Executive Committee in addition to 2 non-executive committee directors.
The Percentage of population covered;
2G NETWORK 88.95%
3G NETWORK 82.92%
4G NETWORK 41.10%
In terms of DIGITIZATION
Competition in the mobile market is heating up and Orange Sierra Leone does not plan to slow down. As the comps continue to work hard to enhance telecommunications in Sierra Leone in line with the Government’s agenda for ICT to ensure that we keep Sierra Leone is at the forefront of communication in Africa and by extension, the world. They are committed to keeping customers ahead by providing them with the latest technologies along with reliable and superior network quality.
Orange Digitization plan;
Orange has undertaken the following strides as listed below all in a bid to support government’s ICT agenda;
Investing 24million USD in support of the government’s effort to extend telecommunications services to underserved areas hence reducing the digital divide currently facing the country
Increase our GSM penetration rate making more voice and data available across the country
The company have improve on their mobile financial services to include micro loan services and international remittances
Being the first partner in energy, mobile for development in agriculture, education and health
Orange SL CSR contribution of 1.5million worth of material assistance towards the Free Quality Education policy and to
Launch their 4G network to provide mobile services at an international standard and improve the quality of their service to customers
The Strengths of the company is
Strong global international brand
Willing and capable taxpayer & investor in SL
They also have the best coverage of over 85% of population covered and the
Largest network of 445 sites in SL,
Strong distribution network;
Product and services catalogue,
Prominent CSR activity
Orange Money leadership
Women empowerment (First female CEO).