The African Development Bank (AfDB)-managed Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) has approved a US$995,000 (D44 million) grant to Gambia to implement a program to facilitate private investments in Green Mini-Grids (GMG) through the creation of an enabling policy, institutional and regulatory framework, as well as direct support to project development and financing.
Electricity access in Gambia currently stands around 40% country-wide and 12% in rural areas and is mostly powered by fossil fuel generation, which translates into one of the highest consumer tariffs in the region.
The Government is interested in realizing the opportunity of “greening” its power sector by incorporating renewable energy in the country’s energy mix while providing access to the 1.91 million population in the country by 2030.
Specifically, the SEFA-funded project will support the preparation of appropriate policy and regulatory framework, develop technical standards and guidelines, carry out feasibility studies and structure a tender process to attract the most suitable investors.
The project will also provide technical and institutional capacity building, including on legal and regulatory issues, for the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MoPE), the Regulator (PURA), the National Power Utility (NAWEC), the communities and other private key stakeholders.
“At this time of transition, we are pleased about assisting The Gambia in attracting investments into clean energy mini-grids. These will be key to providing energy to all rural households and businesses, thus laying the foundations for sustainable economic development,” stated Engedasew Negash Habtemichael, AfDB Renewable Energy Division Manager.
Launched in 2012, SEFA is a US $95-million multi-donor facility funded by the governments of Denmark, the United Kingdom, the United States and Italy.
It supports the sustainable energy agenda in Africa through grants to facilitate the preparation of medium-scale renewable energy generation and energy efficiency projects.
SEFA is hosted by the Renewable Energy Department of the AfDB.