The Point (Banjul)

Gambia: Stakeholders Discuss Renewable Energy Generation in Gambia

Stakeholders Wednesday meet to discuss the 3rd Gambia National Forum Policy for small-scale renewable energy generation in The Gambia.

The forum, organised in collaboration with PURA, USID, and NARUC, was held at the Kairaba Beach Hotel.

Delivering his statement, Demba Bah, deputy permanent secretary of the Ministry of Energy, said that in the last few years NARUC and PURA have been working together and various stakeholders including the Ministry of Energy have benefitted from their capacity building exercises including peer review sessions, with different regulators from the United States of America.

DPS Bah added that the Government of The Gambia recognised that access to adequate, reliable and affordable energy is a fundamental necessity for the achievement of the aspirations and developmental objectives enshrined in the PAGE and Vision 2020.

"There cannot be any meaningful development without energy," he said, adding that renewable energy is a key aspect of national energy policy.

"In our Energy Strategy 2012 to 2030, Renewable Energy plays a key role in all scenarios, with solar and wind being the main resources," DPS Bah noted.

He said that over the last few years they have had several homes and hotels taking up solar both for electricity and thermal use.

In his remarks, Solo Sima of PURA said PURA was deeply honoured to once again host NARUC for a third annual renewable energy forum on policies for small-scale renewable energy regulation.

According to him, this forum follows from a host of smaller scale peer to peer partnerships and two prior forums of similar scale between PURA and NARUC.

"This has enabled us to share best practices in a continually dynamic field of regulation, especially when one is aided by relatively new regulatory instruments on Renewable Energy," said Mr Sima.

He added that over the past few years, PURA, the ministry and several key stakeholders have worked tirelessly towards creating an enabling framework which culminated in the passage of the new Renewable Energy Law in December 2013.

Richard T. Yoneoka, Charge d' Affaires of the United States Embassy in Banjul, said they continued to work with The Gambia day in day out in areas of education, health, agriculture and fisheries, military and law enforcement, and sports and culture.

Over the next two years alone, the US Government's contribution to the Global Fund Gambia initiatives to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria exceeds $13 million, representing one-third of the Global Funds contributions to The Gambia, he said.

Moreover, he added, US funded projects are found in villages and towns throughout The Gambia, from borehole, wells and sanitation facilities, to cashew enhancement projects, milling machines and health clinics.

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