Gambia has received US $161m from a partnership of the European Investment Bank, World Bank and European Union to harness solar power and clean energy.
Gambia’s Finance Minister Mamburay Njie confirmed the reports and said the funds will be a boost towards addressing The Gambia’s current power shortages. It will also ensure reliable energy supply across the country mostly in schools and health centres.
The solar project to be constructed is designed to ensure the sustainable provision of electricity powered by the solar systems for at least 20 years. It is estimated to produce a capacity of 20MW of power upon completion.
According a statement from European Investment Bank, once operational the scheme will increase energy supply in the Gambia by one-fifth. It will also significantly increase Gambia’s current generation capacity of 98 MW and enable electrification of rural areas who currently only 15% of the people living there are connected to the energy network.
Mamburay also acknowledged that the project will make Gambia the only country in Africa to ensure all its schools and health centers are electrified with renewable energy. The project will benefit over 1,100 schools.
The Finance Minister described the project as mutually beneficial, adding that it will help the country achieve the target set out in the National Development Plan (NDP).
“This initiative is expected to generate 20MW of solar energy and distributed across 400km. One of the main objectives of the project is to improve access to clean energy, substantially increasing the current energy supply to 20% in the country and ensure that rural schools and health centers get reliable power supply,” said Njie.