Africa

The Gambia Launches Ambitious Renewable Energy Projects (By Miguel Artacho)

Published

on

The Gambia Launches Ambitious Renewable Energy Projects (By Miguel Artacho)

A number of renewable energy initiatives are in the works thanks to ongoing funding from individual countries as well as by multilateral institutions

DAKAR, Senegal, September 16, 2021/APO Group/ —

By Miguel Artacho, Field Editor

Although The Gambia is actively exploring offshore areas to tap into hydrocarbons potential and aims to position itself as one of the new oil producing countries in the MSGBC Basin; by no means is fossil fuel development the only area in which the Gambian authorities are looking to boost the dynamism of the country´s energy sector. A number of ambitious projects are also underway by utilizing renewable energy technologies. Today, the main sources of energy in The Gambia are primarily firewood, electricity, petroleum imports, and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG). But a number of renewable energy initiatives are in the works thanks to ongoing funding from individual countries as well as by multilateral institutions like the European Investment Bank (EIB). Thus, The Gambia is becoming increasingly well positioned to help diversify its energy mix by incorporating new sources of renewable energy.

H.E. the Vice President Dr. Isatou Touray presided (https://bit.ly/3Ely2qN) over the inauguration of a €2.7 million project named Renewable Energy Potentials in The Gambia on September 6, 2021. The initiative is being funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). It is a four-year project that will be implemented on the ground by the Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology as well as their academic partner the University of The Gambia (UTG).

Following the inauguration H.E. Vice President Dr. Isatou Touray stated that: “The Gambia contributes a very insignificant amount of CO2 emissions that cause climate change. Therefore, reducing the impact of climate change through this project is a massive opportunity that The Gambia cannot afford to miss.” Furthermore, the Vice President emphasized that: “this inauguration would serve as a step in the right direction of implementing The Gambia´s Nationally-Determined Contributions (NDC´s).” These NDC´s were undertaken as part of The Gambia´s commitments stemming from the 21st Conference of Parties (COP 21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which took place in Paris, France, during 2015.

The Gambia has been firmly committed to a number of climate change mitigation initiatives, in spite of not being a major polluter in contrast to some of the world´s larger and far more industrialized economies, which are responsible for a much greater share of global CO2 emissions. Dr. Isatou Touray noted that: “The world is moving towards a green economy and The Gambia will surely not be left behind in that endeavor. The government and The Gambia business sector increasingly understand that there is no tradeoff between a healthy environment and a healthy economy. We can have both at the same time because green business is good business.”

The Minister of Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources H.E. Lamin B. Dibba, equally emphasized the importance of the REPGam project, and noted that “what the project intends to achieve, would not only enable The Gambia to achieve its national target, but also to achieve multilateral environment agreements that The Gambia has signed.” The country is committed to overcoming the numerous challenges it faces in terms of the environment and the agricultural sector, an essential component of the national economy by employing the strength of research, science, technology and innovation.

Adding some concrete technical details about the REPGam project, The Deputy Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Higher Education Dr. Yusupha Touray said: “the project would provide timely availability of clean and affordable electricity in 23 different communities in The Gambia, thereby enhancing those communities’ lives and livelihoods.” An equally important aspect of this project is that of developing local content and fostering capacity building among the youth of The Gambia. It will help train an estimated 210 young workers throughout various communities around the country in a valuable skill-set which is the installation, maintenance and franchising of photovoltaic systems. The development of photovoltaic energy is a top priority for Gambian authorities and the use of this renewable energy resource is increasing throughout the country for domestic, industrial and commercial use.

A report (https://bit.ly/3AfNAdq) by the Department of Commerce of The United States notes that The Gambia´s electricity prices are among the highest in the world, which makes the utilization of alternative energy sources such as biodiesel, steam, solar and wind increasingly attractive. The aforementioned source notes that both the government and Gambia´s national utility company (NAWEC), a state-owned enterprise, have recognized high levels of demand for power and weaknesses in the transmission and distribution network as challenges that need to be addressed in order for the country´s power sector to be more reliable and competitive in the near future.

Rural electrification and ending energy poverty are major challenges not just for The Gambia but throughout many emerging markets in sub-Saharan Africa. In March of 2019, the country took an important step in promoting the renewable energy sector. This was part of a €142 million initiative to harness solar power and supply clean energy across the country, backed (https://bit.ly/3zeeNM7) by the European Investment Bank, the World Bank, and the European Union.

Through the EIB project (https://bit.ly/3ltGXOv), The Gambia is set to become the first country in the world to ensure that as many as 1,100 rural schools and health centers will benefit from having a reliable energy supply by using solar and battery pack technology. It notes that: “Once operational the scheme will increase energy supply in The Gambia by one fifth and transform electricity access in rural communities through construction of a new photovoltaic plant in Jambur, near Banjul. The project will increase access to energy, ensure that education and health services benefit from reliable power and help to address current power shortages in the country.”

Over the past decade the European Investment Bank has provided over €6.4 billion for energy investment across sub-Saharan Africa, and The Gambia is well positioned to continue attracting investment in renewable energy projects. One of the main reasons that The Gambia stands to benefit from additional funding for renewable energy projects is because of several factors. The country has a favorable investment climate, and is a member of ECOWAS, thus facilitating intra-regional trade and cooperation with other sub-Saharan African countries. In addition, in April of 2019, The Gambia became one of the latest countries to ratify the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCTFTA). The Gambia´s decision to join the AFCFTA means the continent-wide free trade agreement has surpassed an important milestone and now obtained the minimum number of ratifications to enter into effect. If all signatories eventually ratify the deal, the AFCFTA will include 55 African states with combined gross domestic product of nearly US$ 3 trillion.

Short Link: https://wp.me/pcj2iU-3ChG

NNN

NNN: :is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor @ nnn.ng

Recent Posts

Kano police arrest suspected fuel suppliers to bandits in Katsina CSCS board renews Jalo-Waziri’s appointment for another 5 years Scam Alert: NNPC disclaims fake 50th anniversary quiz contest Erdogan begins 2-day official visit to Nigeria Oct.19 Facebook to settle U.S. employment discrimination claims with $14.25m Buhari greets Yakubu Gowon at 87 Coronavirus – Malawi: UK emergency medical team provides COVID-19 support and training to health workers in Malawi Buni approves 65 years as retirement age for Yobe teachers El-Rufai makes COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for all Kaduna civil servants Gunmen kill 2 traditional rulers in Imo NSCDC begins psychological assessment of its personnel – Official Buhari hosts Turkish President Erdogan, wife At Maulud, Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi says Nigerians are suffering from hunger, poverty, insecurity The African Broadcasting Union (AUB) and Canal + tackle piracy of television signals Snakebite victims in danger as cost of anti-snake venom hits roof Nigeria in dire shortage of pharmacists – PCN Buhari greets Yakubu Gowon at 87 UNESCO delivers religious leaders’ toolkit on adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights Virologist wants upgrade of new malaria vaccine Tinubu 2023: APC gives letter of recognition to NDA WFP and Japanese government team up to help people in need in Cameroon Living and thriving, thanks to the Sudan Humanitarian Fund Maulud: Fintiri felicitates with Muslims, calls for prayers Djibouti deploys COVID-19 vaccines for migrants Maulud: Sanwo-Olu urges Muslims to emulate Prophet Muhammad Rwanda: crackdown on opposition, media intensify Police to investigate officer allegedly caught casting vote at Kano APC congress  “I see changes in people’s lives”: King Letsie III of Lesotho hails FAO’s work in Lesotho NASME lauds CAC RG for promoting  MSMEs Nigerian troops kill over 50 terrorists in Birnin Gwari Billboard Top 100: Wizkid’s ‘Essence’ climbs up to number nine Federal varsity Lafia denies students abduction   1 dies, 2 rescued as 2-storey building collapses in Lagos Police arrest 3 armed robbery suspects in Ogun African Energy Ministers to travel from African Energy Week in Cape Town to ADIPEC in Abu Dhabi COVID-19 vaccines safe, shun conspiracy theories – ECOWAS Speaker Maulud: Akeredolu felicitates with Muslims, preaches forgiveness, unity Orbih returns as Sports Ministry inaugurates Caretaker Committee for Badminton Federation UBEC earmarks N32m to support 31 schools in Katsina Housing development will boost economy, increase job creation–LASG #Endsars Anniversary: Stakeholders call for re-training of security agents Desist from drug abuse; it destroys lives – NDLEA warns students New sensor unit for the imagePRESS C910 series increases productivity by automating color registration and calibration Japanese Govt. earmarks $260,000 to combat piracy, kidnapping in Gulf of Guinea NEMA distributes fertilizers, seeds to 7,146 flood victims in Zamfara APC registers 1 million members in Zamfara – Committee Afreximbank Fifth Annual Babacar Ndiaye Conference: The Importance of Science, Technology and Innovation in Transforming African Economies Under AfCFTA Kanye West officially changes name to Ye Flooding in South Sudan wreaks havoc on vulnerable communities Australian High Commissioner to Seychelles pays courtesy visit to Minister Radegonde