Cabinet tables massive energy project

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President Adama Barrow on Thursday, 31st October 2019 presided over the 8th Cabinet at the State House in Banjul. The following issues were discussed:
I. The Cabinet discussed a Cabinet Paper presented by the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs on a loan agreement between the government of The Gambia, through the National Water and Electricity Company, and the European Investment Bank for the financing of The Gambia Electricity Restoration and Modernization Project (Renewable Energy Project lasting for five years). The energy project will contribute to the enhancement and improvement of the Gambia’s electricity network, which is a key part of the National Development Plan.

The total cost of the project is €129, 510, 000, out of which €57, 000, 000 is credit and the remaining €72, 570, 000 comprised of the grant component. The sum of €36, 000, 000 of the grant will be co-financed by the World Bank.

The main aims and objectives of the project include to:
A. Increase the generation capacity through an on-grid utility-scale e.g. solar energy (up to
B. 20MW)
C. Increase the transmission and distribution of energy
D. Provide institutional support for the electricity sector
E. Attain technical support for the implementation and installation of an on-grid and off-grid PV/battery systems

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SCOPE OF THE PROJECT:
A total 1000 schools and 100 health centers across the country will benefit from the project.

II. The Minister of Environment, Climate Change, and Natural Resources presented the second Cabinet paper and it was focused on the ratification of the Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol, which is aimed at phasing down the consumption and production of hydrofluorocarbons (HCF’s). The ratification will contribute to the protection of the ozone layer, and the elimination of ozone-depleting substances in The Gambia. Following the ratification, The Gambia will be able to access financial support, adopt new alternative technologies in protecting the ozone layer, and regular water quality testing to improve quality.

III. Centralisation of the civil service overseas training budget
Cabinet was requested to consider and approve the centralization of the overseas short and long term training budget with the Personnel Management Office.
Cabinet resolved to set up a committee, which will be chaired by the Office of the Secretary General, to set the priorities and criteria for training in the civil service. The decision will go a long way to incentivize and augment the capacity and quality of the civil service.

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