The African Development Bank (AfDB)-managed Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) has set aside US $995,000-grant to enhance energy access in Gambia to assist private investments in Green Mini-Grids (GMG) through the formation of an enabling guidelines, institutional and regulatory framework and direct support to project development and financing.
Energy access in Gambia stands at approximately 40% nationwide and 12% in rural regions, and is typically powered by fossil fuel generation, which turns into one of the top consumer tariffs in the area.
The Government of The Gambia is concerned in realizing the opportunity of “greening” its power sector by integrating renewable energy in the nation’s energy mix, while giving access to the 1.91 million inhabitants in the nation by 2030.
Particularly, the SEFA-funded project will support the preparation of suitable guidelines and regulatory structure, develop technical standards and guidelines, carry out viability studies and makeup a tender process to draw the most appropriate investors.
The project will also offer technical and institutional capacity building, as well as 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 change, we are delighted about supporting Gambia in drawing investments into clean energy mini-grids. These will be vital to giving energy to all rural homes and businesses, hence laying the basics for sustainable economic development,” affirmed Engedasew Negash Habtemichael, AfDB Renewable Energy Division Manager.
Established 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 assist the groundwork of medium-scale renewable energy creation and energy efficiency projects; equity investments to link the funding gap for small- and medium-scale renewable energy creation projects; and support to the public sector to expand the enabling environment for private investments in sustainable energy. SEFA is hosted by the Renewable Energy Department of the AfDB.