Finance minister Amadou Sanneh has signed a US$45 million loan agreement with the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation to support National Water and Electricity Company and Gambia National Petroleum Company.
The loan, which was signed by the by Government on behalf of the two state institutions, is expected to help the public companies in financing their operations which includes the costly importation of heavy fuel.
The signing ceremony took place at the conclusion of the IsDB Group Governors’ lunch on the sidelines of the World Bank/IMF meeting held in Washington DC, with the presence of Dr. Bandar Hajjar, IsDB Group President.
Commenting on this event, Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO ITFC said: “As a leading Islamic Trade Finance Solutions Provider, this agreement is a milestone to boost the main sector of The Gambian economy.
Energy is critical for supplying the country with fuel and electricity, in addition to development, this signing contributes to intra OIC trade as the products to be financed would be sourced mainly from OIC Member Countries.”
The county struggles with an unsustainable public debt at 120% of its billion US dollars GDP. The energy sector in the country, despite its crucial nature as a key driver of economic activities, has been severely inadequate.
The national power supplier, consumed in over 9 billion dalasis debt, has been struggling to power the 42% of the population that it currently supplies with electricity.
The loan financing falls under the framework agreement signed with the Gambia in May 2017, for a three years period, during the IsDB Group’s 42nd Annual Meeting that took place in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, with the total amount of US$210 Million in support of its strategic sectors.
The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation is an autonomous entity within the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group.
ITFC commenced operations in January 2008 with the purpose of consolidating all the trade finance businesses that used to be handled by various windows within the IsDB Group.