By Amadou Jadama
The Managing Director of the National Water and Electricity Company Nani Juwara has revealed that the government of President Adama Barrow through its partnership with the donors is targeting to electrify the entire country by 2025.
Juwara made these remarks Tuesday during a conducted tour of the OMVG sub-station in Brikama with Axel van Trotsenburg the World Bank managing director for operations.
The OMVG electricity project is a regional project serving The Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry and Senegal funded by the World Bank, EIB, European Union, African Development Bank and other donor agencies.
“As we speak , we have a portfolio of about 200 million dollars that we are implementing to provide access for our people within the Greater Banjul Area where 80 percent of the people have access to electricity while only 28 percent of the people in the rural areas have access which is not acceptable and that is why the government through partnership with donors has set an ambitious target to electrify the entire country by 2025, and we are in a very strong footing to achieve this,”; Mr Juwara told journalists on tour.
He further disclosed that Nawec has signed a number of contracts and by December 2023, it is hoped that 700 communities will be electrified which will be a big plus for the Gambian people as it will change the life and landscape of our country.
MD Juwara added that the visit by the World Bank top official is very significant not only to Nawec but also for the country since the World Bank is the leading donor when it comes to development support and they are the ones that galvanise other donors to support developing countries like the Gambia.
Juwara said the visit will also renew the confidence the Bank has in the Gambia Government and that would be a good signal for other donors.
“The OMVG substations have already been commissioned and are currently implementing power from Senegal – about 30 megawatts through the network. We are part and parcel of this project and The Gambia Government has invested significantly in it because it is part of our greater objective to achieve regional integration”, he said.
The World Bank director of operations Axel van Trotsenburg expressed pleasure at seeing the implementation and progress of the project which he said is an indication by Nawec to make the project a success.
He added that access to energy should be ensured to help developing countries realise the Sustainable Development Goals SDGs.
“What this project shows is the potential that everywhere in the world you have a grid where everything is connected. The West Africa power framework is a good base and this is something we need to keep focussing on, for long term development and transformation and I think you can rely on the World Bank for support “he told Nawec officials.