OPERATED BY SLAJ

False

FACT-CHECKED

by SLAJ |

No, electricity generation and supply were not about 13% when the Bio-led government came to office in 2018, rather, it was 15%.

SLAJ-iVerify has fact-checked the viral video featuring Chernor Bah, the Minister of Information and Civic Education, on AYV TV’s Wake Up Sierra Leone programme stating that the Bio-led administration met electricity generation and supply at about 13% in 2018 and found it to be false.

Claim

“This Government came to power in 2018 and Electricity Generation and supply nationally was about 13%”, Sierra Leone’s Minister of Information & Civic Education says.

Rating Justification

On Thursday 16th May 2024, Sierra Leone’s Minister of Information and Civic Education, Chernor Bah said on the Africa Young Voices AYV TV’s Wake Up Sierra Leone programme that his administration met electricity generation and supply at about 13% nationally in 2018 when they assumed office. SLAJ-iVerify has fact-checked the claim and found it to be false.

To arrive at this conclusion, SLAJ-iVerify undertook the following steps:

Firstly, SLAJ-iVerify performed an online search across multiple documents containing statistics on electricity generation, supply, access, and energy coverage in Sierra Leone. SLAJ-iVerify discovered that the electricity generation and supply nationwide in 2018 was actually around 15% and not 13% as the Minister claimed.

Additionally, only 2.5% of the rural population had access to electricity in 2016, according to World Bank data. This is well below the average of 42.8% for the population of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Secondly, SLAJ-iVerify found that imported petroleum products are the largest source of energy for power generation, accounting for around 13% of energy consumption. However, this does not mean that the total electricity generation and supply is around 13%. Instead, it means that 13% of the energy used for power generation in Sierra Leone comes from imported petroleum products. This figure reflects the contribution of petroleum products to the energy mix used specifically for generating electricity, not the overall rate of electricity access or supply in the country.

To provide a clearer picture:

Electricity Access Rate: When discussing electricity generation and supply, the focus is often on the percentage of the population that has access to electricity. In 2018, the electricity access rate in Sierra Leone was about 15% overall, with even lower access in rural areas (Find link in evidence and references).

Energy Sources: The 13% that the Minister talked about only shows the proportion of the country’s energy consumption for power generation that is derived from imported petroleum products. This indicates reliance on fuels such as diesel and heavy fuel oil for generating electricity, especially during periods when hydroelectric power is insufficient (MDPI) (Investing in Sierra Leone).

Overall Energy Mix: Sierra Leone’s energy mix includes a combination of hydroelectric power, thermal power from petroleum products, and increasingly, renewable energy sources like solar. The percentage breakdown of these sources varies, with hydroelectric power being significant but supplemented by thermal power from petroleum imports (MDPI) (Investing in Sierra Leone).

In summary, while 13% of the energy for power generation comes from imported petroleum products, the overall electricity access rate in Sierra Leone in 2018 was around 15%, reflecting the broader challenges in providing electricity to the population.

Consequently, based on these findings, SLAJ-iVerify concludes that the Minister’s statement was false.