H.E. Hon. Cheick Taliby Sylla
Minister of Energy and Hydraulics, Guinea
'The right man in the right place' it is often said about Dr. Taliby Cheick Sylla. Dr. Sylla was born in 1956 in Foulaya, Sub-prefecture of Friaguiagbé in the Kindia region. He is the current Minister of Energy and Water and he is the key architect of Kaleta hydropower project, a USSR product.
After graduating in 1975, a young Taliby Sylla returned to the Faculty of Agronomy in Faranah. Thanks to his hard work and studious efforts, his diligence, dynamism and passion for work, he obtained a scholarship in the Soviet Union in 1978.
In 1979 he returned to the Institute of Irrigation and Mechanization in Tashkent to learn Russian. After this successful preparatory year, he returned to the Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Land Reclamation in Moscow. After five years of training, Dr. Sylla achieved a prestigious Master diploma of hydraulic engineering with distinctions. The subject of his thesis earned him the award for graduate of the year and due to the highly scientific content of his studies the board of scientists recommended he pursue research on the topic.
After four years of research in water science, he obtained the title of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) in Technical Sciences.
Knowing the major challenges his county faced, Dr. Sylla embarked on studying in the USSR. He worked at the waste water treatment plant in Zelenograd and potable water treatment plant in the Severny area, Moscow, before becoming an assistant at the Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Land Reclamation of Moscow, D pump department and pumping station department. Concerned that its population had almost no safe drinking water, despite the paradox that Guinea is ‘the water tower of Africa’, Dr. Sylla returned to the land of his ancestors for the first time in twelve years to help to reverse this trend.
In 1992, Dr. Sylla joined the Société d’Exploitation des Eaux de Guinée (SEEG) as Director of the logistics department. Thanks to his knowledge and expertise, Dr. Sylla rose through the ranks at SEEG, starting from the role of head of the project coordination department to Commercial Director, eventually becoming General Manager in 2005. In 2010, with the advent of the Third Republic, Dr. Sylla was selected by the new authorities to be adviser to the Minister in charge of Energy and Water. In the same year, he joined the executive committee of the Organisation for the Development of the Senegal River (OMVS) as Secretary General. Yet, with his country having faced an energy deficit for over fifty years, Dr. Sylla was recalled by the authorities to ensure coordination of the mega project Kaléta hydroelectric dam in 2012. Proud of his result, he was appointed Minister of Energy and Water by President Alpha Conde in 2014 to oversee the government’s other energy and water projects.