President Barrow at the weekend presided over the inauguration of a power plant in Brikama where he spelt out his government’s belief that “energy is a key driver of economic development. Thus, it has to serve a leverage to raise living standards and reduce poverty in the country.”
The 20MW power plant costing $28.4 million was jointly funded by the Gambia government and the Islamic Development Bank.
“The addition of twenty (20) Mega Watts to our electricity generation capacity will significantly address the country’s power capacity gaps and serve as a catalyst to achieve and maintain regular electricity supply for the entire Gambian nation,” President Barrow said, believing that this development added the “ample evidence of my government’s commitment to our 2021 Energy Roadmap and National Development Plan.”
“The project stands out as another means of accelerating the country’s key infrastructure investments to empower Gambian citizens through access to essential services,” he noted, adding, “It is only through such huge development strides that we can attain and sustain the level of economic growth we desire.”
“The increasing demand for power, arising from the expansion of economic activities in the country, also makes it compelling for the government to redouble efforts in the energy sector. The strategy is to gradually replace the old generator sets with reliable ones and maintain a single national grid.”
President Barrow said his government would go beyond providing sustainable energy for all. It would strive putting cost-effective electricity tariffs.
“We remain committed to the socio-economic development objectives outlined in our National Development Plan (NDP), the AU 2063 Agenda and the AU/EU partnership for Green Transition and Energy Access,” President Barrow added. He stressed the critical role being played by the energy sector towards the realisation of development.
“We are also working with our development partners to mitigate the effects of climate change, increase our renewable energy uptake and improve energy efficiency in our homes, institutions and businesses,” he said acknowledging the efforts of the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, the Board and Management of NAWEC and all stakeholders for the success of the project.