MONROVIA, Montserrado – For anyone who has ever wondered about how far the electricity grid extends in Liberia, or the various types of solar-powered projects currently in use in the country, a comprehensive platform has now been launched to answer those questions.
The Rural Renewable Energy Agency has partnered with the Ministry of Lands Mines and Energy, the German development agency GIZ, and Mercy Corps to launch a website meant to improve access to information on the renewable energy sector in Liberia.
RREA’s Executive Director Augustus Goanue disclosed to The Bush Chicken in an interview on Thursday, December 14 that the website has been under construction for nearly two years and contains information on different renewable technologies available in the country.
It also allows individuals to follow progress on renewable energy projects, while providing data on news and events related to the sector.
The website appears to be targeted more toward donors, researchers, and investors than average consumers. There are maps of solar installations across the country, directories of stakeholder, and analyses of the local potential of the various renewable energy sources.
“It is important to provide information, and in this time and age, transparency means coming live online to make sure that people can have access to projects under their cost: where they are located, who financed them and who is implementing them, who are the beneficiaries, what impact it’s making and we think that this is the best platform to provide information out to our people, especially from the supply side of energy,” Goanue noted.
He added, “It is important for information sharing, information collection where all the different installations across the country like for instance, health facilities; clinics; schools; hospitals; markets and agriculture facilities can benefit.”
Unlike the case of many public institutions in Liberia, Goanue promised that the website would be regularly updated with current information as professional individuals have been placed in charge of its management. For the most part, information on the website is up-to-date, although the map of the electricity grid in Montserrado is slightly dated.
Robert Kollie, an engineering student at the University of Liberia, welcomed the launch of the website and praised RREA and its partners for the initiative.
Kollie told The Bush Chicken in an interview that the site would be a key source of information for students interested in the energy sector.
“We hope this can be replicated in other sectors of our country as we are on a drive for national development and reconstruction,” he said.
Officially launching the web portal, the minister of information, cultural affairs and tourism, Eugene Nagbe, said having synchronized information on renewable energy on a single platform would promote development by providing information to potential investors.
“Instead of a potential investor walking from ministry to ministry trying to get data and other information, just by the click of a button, you can access information that is required for you to plan and also for you to execute,” he explained.
He called on other government ministries and agencies to emulate the steps of the renewable energy sector as a means of providing easy access to information and promoting transparency.
“This is all part of our efforts to have a transparent governance system,” he noted.