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President Barrow Commissions $722 Million OMVG Energy Project

President Adama Barrow commissioning the OMVG Energy project in Soma


By Landing Ceesay

President Adama Barrow on Saturday commissioned the $722, 000, 000 four nations OMVG Energy project in Soma, Lower River Region.

In his speech at the event, Barrow expressed confidence that the OMVG project will contribute to strengthening the relationship and cementing the bonds of solidarity among the friendly countries.

He said if there was a need for a piece of evidence that South-South cooperation could work or that Africans could unite, work together and develop the African continent to match other continents, this project would certainly be sufficient for the purpose.

“This OMVG project has an international character and attracts the keen interest of The Gambia, Senegal, Guinea Conakry, Guinea Bissau and the West African subregion. I am hopeful that its significance and impact would be positively felt and welcome within the subregion. As a result, its successful completion deserves endorsement and commendation on the African continent. It should serve as a reference point and source of inspiration and emulation,” President Barrow said.

The OMVG Energy Project (Gambia River Basin Development Organisation) involves four countries- The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal.

The sub-regional organisation is the executing agency for integrated development programmes in the region and in particular, focused on the rational management of common resources of the Gambia, Kayanga-Géba and Koliba-Corubal Rivers.

The river basins provide an opportunity for power production and the studies have been financed by OMVG countries with international assistance, particularly from the AfDBADB.

The World Bank, the African Development Bank, the Kuwait funds and others funded the energy project.

The first study on power production and transmission investments in OMVG member countries was conducted from 1994 to 1996, according to HQ International et al., 1997. It identified a programme of hydroelectric sites development and an interconnection line. AfDBADB has since financed the technical, economic, environmental and institutional feasibility studies. The work was conducted from February 2002 to May 2004 by the same consortium retained in the present studies (COTECO). This now includes detailed technical studies and the preparation of request of proposals documents, including the update of the environmental and social impact studies.

The Project documentation also includes an Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP) approved at a restitution meeting in Dakar on 11/12 December 2006, with all potential stakeholders present. These included representatives of OMVG national environmental institutions in member countries, international and regional funding agencies, as well as conservation organisations.

Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal and Umaru Sissoko Emballo, President of Guinea Bissau, graced the commissioning of the OMVG project, who both thanked The Gambia for their partnership in the implementation of the project

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