The African Development Bank (AfDB)-managed Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) has approved a US $995,000-grant to the Republic of The Gambia to implement a programme 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 stands around 40percent country-wide and 12 percent 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 of The Gambia is interested in realising the opportunity of “greening” its power sector by incorporating renewable energy in the country’s energy mix, while providing access to attain of 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.
However SEFA, was 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; equity investments to bridge the financing gap for small- and medium-scale renewable energy generation projects; and support to the public sector to improve the enabling environment for private investments in sustainable energy. SEFA is hosted by the Renewable Energy Department of the AfDB.