By Aisha Tamba
The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy in partnership with UNIDO, GEF, NEA recently held the official launch of the UNIDO/GEF 6 project entitled “Oprerationalisation of the Gambia sustainable energy for all (SE4ALL) Action Agenda: promoting inclusive, environmentally-sound and low-carbon development,” at a local hotel in Bakou.
The project involves the establishment of a national platform to foster dialogue on energy related nexus issues, promotion of energy efficient appliances and efficient cook stoves and briquettes through demonstration project, quality assurance and capacity building.
Speaking on behalf of the Minister of Petroleum and Energy, PS Lamin Camara, said the UNIDO/GEF 6 project is a long standing cooperation and collaboration between the government of the Gambia and UNICO, as implementing agency for the global environment facility.
“The project seeks to promote the adoption of efficient appliances and improved cooking solutions through demonstration projects, quality assurance and capacity building in an effort to reduce carbon emissions and contribute to climate mitigation in the Gambia.
“The objective of the project is to operationalise the Gambia sustainable energy for all action agenda and investment prospectus that was developed in 2014. Let me highlight that the Gambia joined the UN Sustainable Energy for all Initiative in 2012 and was the first country in Africa to adopt its SE4ALL action agenda and investment prospectus, which provide the framework for achieving the SE4ALL goals by 2030,” he said.
He added that the total project budget is US$ 8.2 million, which includes a GEF grant contribution of US$1.8 million and co-financing of US$ 6. 4 million.
The chief of climate technology and innovations, UNIDO, Alois Mhlanga, said the UNIDO believes in inclusive and sustainable industrial development as a key to economic prosperity and environmental concerns are central to UNIDOs vision of sustainable.
“Therefore in the effort to promote clean and sustainable energy solutions and building on the success of the GEF4 and GEF5 projects implement in the Gambia, UNIDO with the support of the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy and the National Environmental Agency is launching the GEF 6 project aiming at the operationalisation of the SE4LL Action Agenda through promoting inclusive environmentally-sound and low-carbon development.
“In fact the government of the Gambia was the first country in Africa to adopt its SE4ALL Action Agenda in 2014. In discussions with various ministries, there is convergence on the urgent operationalisation of the following priority projects identified in the SE4ALL Action Agenda.
Promote market-based distribution as well as adoption of efficient appliances and reform the market of light bulbs and domestic appliances in order to reduce the grid and promote market-based adoption of efficient cooking devices and alternative cooking fuels,” he said.
The Executive Director of NEA and GEF Focal Point, Momodou Suwareh said the government in partnership with the development partners such as GEF and UNIDO are implementing important projects in the domain of renewable energy.
“The Gambia has recognised the need and over the years taken concrete steps towards the development to diversify the energy sector to support a rapidly growing industrial sector. The main objective of the workshop is to gain support and commitment of stakeholders in the Gambia on adoption of energy efficiency strategies.
“The National Environment Agency, in collaboration with stakeholders have over the years being implementing GEF funded projects in the area of renewable energy, climate change, biodiversity and land degradation,” he said.
The Gambia is one of the countries in the sub-region to benefit from global environment fund (GEF) grant which is aimed at promoting renewable and sustainable energy for all, he added.