By Olimatou Coker
The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy on Wednesday validated Gambia’s Green Mini-Grid (GMG) policy framework at a local hotel in Senegambia.
The GMG country support programme is the flagship project of the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (Sefa).
The project is to support eligible countries develop frameworks and investment programmes for GMG.
The GMG seeks to electrify most of the rural and peri-urban areas of the country using decentralised energy systems to stimulate productive activities.
Speaking, Lamin Camara, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, said the validation of the document is to promote Green Mini-Grids in the country.
“We talk about universal access but the access to energy in the country is below 50 percent.
This policy framework… with the support of the private sector, we can take energy to the remotest parts of the country,” he noted.
Ansumana Sanneh, director general of Pura, said policies are “very important” because they give directions on how to deal with a particular sector.
“Our key role is to try set standards of operations in this particular sector.
We are all aware that Gambia like many developing countries don’t have 100 percent access to electricity generation, so the conventional system that we have in place need to supplement with some of these methods and one of the things that we need to understand is to have an isolated green mini-grid in areas that don’t have access.
It is very important for us as a country to be able to have a robust policy and a robust regulatory background to be able to attract private sector investment in the sector.
However, the private sector will only participate in a sector if they are sure that the policy is clear and robust.
“Let us look at the document in a way that even after we leave office the next generation will be able to use it,” he told participants.
The Gambia government has an ambitious goal of electrifying the entire country by 2030 while increasing significant share of renewable energy to about 30 percent.
In line with this ambitious target, the government received a grant of US$995,000 from the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (Sefa) for the implementation of a GMG country support programme.