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Gambia gets $66 million ECOWAS energy grant


By Sanna Camara

The Cabinet meeting held on Thursday, January 31, 2019, was resided over by President Adama Barrow. It deliberated and approved, among other things a paper on an ECOWAS Regional Electricity Access Project worth $66 million grant for The Gambia.

The paper was presented by the Hon Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Mr. Fafa Sanynag. It aims to increase electricity access in peri-urban and rural areas covering localities within a 100km radius of the Soma and Brikama OMVG substations in The Gambia.

“This project is a World Bank Programme to develop an ECOWAS Regional Electricity Access with the objective to increase grid electricity in selected ECOWAS countries,” Mr. Ebrima Sillah, the Minister of Information told reporters in a statement read after the meeting.

The second paper presented before cabinet was on the ratification of the international solar alliance framework agreement by the Hon Minister of Petroleum and Energy. Cabinet was informed that the International Solar Alliance (ISA) was launched by Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India and Francois Hollande, the former President of France.

The International Solar Alliance (ISA) framework treaty has already been ratified by 44 countries around the World. The Gambia has already put in place a roadmap to use viable alternative sources of energy particularly renewable energy to reduce the country’s over dependence heavy fuel oils which are deemed as harmful to the environment.

“Gambia’s membership in the international solar alliance is expected to give the country access to bilateral and multilateral organizations and other stakeholders that can make a positive contribution to assist and help achieve the common goals of increasing the use of solar energy in meeting the country’s energy needs,” Minister Sillah said.

Hereunder is the summary of the conclusions as read by Minister Sillah:

The conclusions of the 2nd Cabinet Meeting of 2019 held on Thursday 31st January 2019

In its second meeting held on 31st January 2019, Cabinet deliberated on a paper on the Civil Service Reform Programme 2018 – 2027. The cabinet paper presented by His Excellency the Vice President and Minister of Women’s Affairs identified a number of challenges and constraints that need to be addressed to accelerate the Civil Service Reform Programme.

These concerns and challenges include: proliferation of public sector entities with overlap of roles and functions; low remuneration and incentives for civil servants; gaps in discipline and ethical standards; lack of universal application performance management; and ad how and inadequate capacity building.

The Civil Service Reform Programme will be implemented in two phases.

The first phase will involve institutional rationalization and consolidation to attract, retain and motivate optimal numbers of technical and professional personnel into the Civil Service as well institutionalize meritocracy, due process and professionalism in personnel administration.

The second phase involve the reengineering and transformation in the Civil Service to consolidate and sustain the results from phase 1 to transform the public service to be the employer of choice for skilled and inspired professionals and technical personnel.

.The third paper presented before cabinet was to enforce section 37 (1) and (2) of The Gambia Postal Services Act 2005. This paper was presented by the Minister of Information and Communication Infrastructure. The Postal Services Act 2005 gives Gampost exclusivity of conveying all letters weighing 2kilograms and below.

The Ministry of Information and Communication Infrastructure is now demanding that GAMPOST be given exclusivity for all letter mails weighing from 0 – 4 kilograms instead of 2kilograms. Cabinet has endorsed the proposal which aims to support State Corporation to embrace new technologies and applications for improved service delivery.

Cabinet also approved a proposal by the Minister of Information and Communication Infrastructure to place GRTS reporters in every Ministry to enhance the visibility of and the factual reporting on government activities.

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