Gambia to be 1st country to electrify all schools, health centers with clean energy

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

The Gambia has launched its Renewable Energy Programme that will generate 20MW of solar power providing 430kw of new transmission lines and electrification of 1,100 schools and health centres across the whole country.

According to EUB, once operational, the scheme will increase energy supply in the Gambia by one fifth and transform electricity access in the rural communities through construction of the new photo voltaic plant at Jamboree, new power transmission and distribution infrastructure.

Access to clean energy in The Gambia is set to be transformed under a new Euro 142 million initiative to harness solar power and supply clean energy across the country, backed by the European Investment Bank, World Bank and European Union.

The project upon completion means The Gambia will be the first country in the world to ensure all its 1,100 rural schools and health centres benefit from reliable energy supply using solar and battery technology.

The director for lending operations outside Europe Maria Shaw-Barragan said the launching demonstrates the EUBank’s support to The Gambia and to confirm the European Investment Bank’s support for harnessing solar power to transform access to clean and reliable energy across the country.

She said in five years, the EIB provided 50 billion of financing for long term energy investment around the world and has supported more than 200 billion Euros in the energy sector.

“The Gambia is the first country in the world to combine solar with battery storage at all 1,100 schools and health centres that allow electricity to be used when the sun stops shining,” she said.

“I am pleased to announce that following the approval of our 28 European Union member state shareholders; the European Investment Bank will provide 65miilion Euro to support the EUR 142 million total investments in the new Gambia Renewable Energy programme.”

The European Union Ambassador Attila Lajos expressed his delight in the EU-Gambia cooperation and the benefits that will accrue to the people.

The minister for Finance and Economic Affairs Mamburay Njie, said the project comprises four components; three of which will be financed by the European Investment Bank.

“The European Union will finance over 106 million Euros for the clean energy programme to be implemented by the National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC),” he declared. This includes 65M Euros under a 25-year long-term concessional loan from European Investment Bank and 41M Euro grant from the European Union Budget. In addition, the project will be co-financed in collaboration with the World Bank that agrees to provide a grant of 37M Euro.”

He said the main objective is to improve access to clean energy, and substantially increase the current energy supply to 20 in the country to 20 percent.

Author: Sankulleh Gibril Janko