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Germany Hands Over 1.3 Million Euro Electricity Project to The Gambia

On Wednesday, October 2, 2019, The Federal Republic of Germany handed over 1.3 Million Euro power stabilization project to Gambia’s National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC).  

The move is in response to the visit of German President, Frank Walter Steinmeier in 2017, when his host President Adama Barrow, requested a need for electricity stability as a way of promoting investments and reducing irregular migration.

Norbert Kolb, the project consultant for the implementing company GIZ, said the project funds allowed for the procurement of a generator, an oil and fuel lab, more than 75 km of fiberglass cable, two new radio towers and everything needed to create a digital communication infrastructure for NAWEC.

According to Kolb, the combination of these measures will enable NAWEC to run the power plant system more reliably, to extend the life span of the machinery and to significantly save resources for maintenance.

NAWEC’s Managing Director, Alpha Robinson

NAWEC’s Managing Director, Alpha Robinson, hailed Germany for the timely support in stabilizing the electricity in a technologically friendly manner.

“We must embrace technology because technology and innovation are the future,” he said.

Robinson said NAWEC must stop reacting to situations, but must put up strategies ahead that will ensure sustainable stability. To achieve this, he emphasized the need for a shift towards technology.

“…we must look to the future with optimism and we must appreciate and understand that technology is central to the success of NAWEC. So we must embrace change. We must shift away from ‘this is how we used to do it’, to a new mindset that embraces the good of what we used to do and have archived to this very day, but also embraces new things that move us beyond where we are today,” Robinson said at the ceremony held at Petroleum House Bijilo.

With this project, heavily backed by technology, NAWEC technicians will now have a communication system that allows them to monitor the generators, substations and data without physical visitations.

The Head of Global Operations of GIZ International Services, Christian Kuehnl, said they have provided technological and technical perspectives as well as guidance to the NAWEC team for continuous service delivery.

Fafa Sanyang, Minister of Petroleum and Energy says the project will restore the failing generation capacity which caused frequent blackouts two years ago. He said this led to commercial loses.

“But through sweat and tears, foresight and perseverance, and with the support of the partners such as German government, the EU, the World Bank and other partners, this narrative on the electricity sub-sector is gradually changing”.

The German Ambassador based in Dakar, Stephan Roeken, said the project is an actualization of the assurance given to The Gambia by German president during his visit to the country two years ago.

“It’s more than a million Euros but you should know that what the engineers of NAWEC learnt will help stabilize the system for the future”. 

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