With German, constant electricity is assured

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

In December, the president of Federal Republic of German has announced the revival and expansion of the bilateral cooperation with the Republic of The Gambia, following the peaceful democratic change of government a year ago.

Mr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier made this announcement to the press at the end of his visit, saying it came a decisive stage of the European countries’ relations with Africa. “The visit to Gambia even signals a message of respect and recognition of Gambia’s achievements in democracy,” he added.

Yesterday, Jan. 30, 2018, the technical engineering team from Germany yesterday presented energy equipment and tools to The Gambia’s energy sector aimed at boosting the national electricity supply in constant and stable manner.

The engagement reminds us the old days when the relative cordiality between the two countries was at its advanced stage with both countries benefiting based on mutual interest. The German government, based on this relationship had lifted the Gambia from one stage to another, ranging from transportation and other aids.

Germany’s aid to Gambia stood at an average of US$7.7 million per annum, representing the highest aid Gambia ever received from any single European donor in the 1980s.

In his book, “A History of the Foreign Policy of Africa’s Smallest State, 1965-1995”, Gambian author Omar A. Touray, argued that Germany’s aid to Gambia “assumed significant proportions by 1980”. According to him, between 1981 and 85, the German aid to Gambia was inferior only to US.

On Monday, the managing director of NAWEC, Baba Fatajo, thanked the president of Germany and his team for putting up a technical team which has been here in The Gambia for the past one week, describing their job as hectic, and tedious.

“I understand that they used to be at work up to 3 a.m. in the morning just to make ensure that they got to the root of the problems that exist in the energy sector in The Gambia” he added.

In the 1980s, Germany funded a rural water supply of D8 million in the North Bank, and D8.6 million in Jahally-Pacharr rice development project as part of the Freedom from Hunger Campaign (FFHC).

On the area of transport, it also provided 50 passenger buses and management assistance, estimated at D12 million, to the GPTC, and the Banjul sewerage and drainage project at D8.5 million.  A German management team also helped in then GUC (national power company) in re-organising and strengthening that corporation’s management, and it had D12 million earmarked for electricity supply in the Greater Banjul Area.

Germany has interest to assist The Gambia in several sectors including security, but the moment The Gambia has known them the electricity as its priority.

“Electricity can transform  people’s lives, not just economically but also socially.”
Piyush Goyalgoyal