Global Gateway: Team Europe strengthens support for the Gambia Renewable Energy project

  • New Global Gateway grant of €24 million from the European Union to accelerate implementation of the Gambia Renewable Energy project
  • Project axed on electrify schools and health centres across the Gambia with reliable green energy: more than 1000 rural schools and 100 health centres to benefit from solar panels, battery technology and network connectivity
  • Total Team Europe investment from European Investment Bank and European Union now exceeds €100 million

At the United Nations (UN) 5th Conference for Least Developed Countries (LDC5), the Republic of The Gambia, the European Union (EU) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) announced the signature of a €24.08 million EU Global Gateway grant to be used alongside an €8 million EIB loan to support the implementation of a renewable energy on and off-grid generation, transmission and distribution programme across the Gambia.

This new grant agreement brings the overall financial backing to the project from the European Investment Bank and the European Union to more than €100 million.

The Statement of Signature, relating to this grant agreement, is being signed today by Jutta Urpilainen, EU Commissioner for International Partnerships, Seedy Keita, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs of the Republic of the Gambia, and Thomas Östros, EIB Vice-President..

“On behalf of H.E The President of the Republic of the Gambia Adama Barrow and his Government, I express my sincere gratitude to the European Union (EU) and the European Investment Bank ( EIB) for the financial support. Once again it demonstrates that The EU and EIB are strong development partner of the Gambia. The project will transform the electricity sector of The Gambia via through the ‘Solarisation’ of up to 1000 schools and 100 health facilities especially the remote areas of the country. Furthermore it will provide beneficiaries in the education and health sectors with reliable and clean energy thereby reducing our carbon footprint. We are towards the realisation of universal access to electricity for all Gambians by 2025.” said Seedy Keita, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs of the Republic of the Gambia.

European Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen said: “Affordable, reliable and sustainable access to electricity for all is a Global Gateway priority. It increases strategic autonomy, and without electricity communities cannot benefit from new technologies in full. I am delighted to sign this €24 million grant agreement for solar panels to power up schools and health centres in the Gambia. This flagship green energy project is a fantastic win-win for climate action and human development, for empowering young people and for creating more economic opportunities across the country.”

“Investment in Gambia’s energy infrastructure is essential to improve economic opportunities as well as better daily lives. The EIB welcomes in particular the additional Team Europe grant support in cooperation with Gambian, international and European partners. Together, this scheme will enable the Gambia to be the first country in Africa to provide renewable energy electrification for all public school and health facilities.” said EIB Vice-President Thomas Östros. He added: “It is a flagship and impactful project supported by EIB Global, our new branch dedicated to development and international partnerships outside the EU. We are strongly committed to support climate action in Africa and around the world.”

The project will transform electricity access in rural communities across the country and ensure that education and health services benefit from reliable and clean power. More than 1,000 schools and 100 health centres in rural parts of the Gambia that currently have limited electricity access are expected benefit from reliable energy supply through new connections to the national energy network and provision of off-grid solar and battery systems.

Once operational, the Gambia Renewable Energy project will increase energy supply in the Gambia by one fifth. In addition to increasing access to electricity in rural communities, it supports the construction  of a new photovoltaic plant at Jambur near Banjul, and reinforcement of power transmission and distribution infrastructure.

This project is also supported by the World Bank.

Over the last decade the European Investment Bank has provided €5.3 billion for energy investment across Africa.

Background information

About the European Union (EU)

The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 European countries. It is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. It acts globally to promote sustainable development of societies, environment and economies, so that everyone can benefit.

About the European Investment Bank (EIB)

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals. The EIB has been a strong partner of African countries for more than 55 years.

EIB Global is the EIB Group’s specialised arm devoted to increasing the impact of international partnerships and development finance. It is designed to foster strong, focused partnership within Team Europe, alongside fellow development finance institutions and civil society. EIB Global brings the Group closer to local people, companies and institutions through our offices around the world.

Through EIB Global, the bank is strengthening its presence in Africa. Over the last decade the EIB has provided more than €28 billion for innovative technologies, green energy, water, education, agriculture, telecom, health and business investment in 40 countries across the continent. Since the start of the pandemic alone, the EIB has provided more than €8.5 billion for new private and public investment across Africa.

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