Institutions pledge funds for Gambia Basin hydro projects

International development agencies have pledged US$402 million to help finance hydropower development the Gambia River Basin, an African regional agency reports.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) issued a statement carried by Angola Press that said the African Development Bank, World Bank, European Investment Bank (EIB), French development agency Agence Francaise de Developpement, ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development, and German development bank Kreditanstalt fur Wiederaufbau promised the funding to the Organization for the Development of the River Gambia (OMVG) during a roundtable meeting in Dakar.

OMVG members Guinea, Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, and Gambia have agreed to build the 90-MW Sambangalou hydro project in Gambia and the 215-MW Kaleta hydro project in Guinea. EIB recently recruited consultants to help develop a carbon credit program for OMVG. (HNN 2/15/07)

�The project will provide low cost hydropower, thus improving the wellbeing of the local populations and encouraging the economic development of the region,� Mahama Kappiah, acting head of the ECOWAS Energy Department, was quoted saying.

The OMVG project also includes construction of 1,677 kilometers of transmission line and 15 substations interconnecting the nations. The project is to help meet 22 percent of the energy needs of the four countries.

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