Few days after the inauguration of a power station in Farafenni, the people in the Upper River Region on Monday also saw the inauguration of a US$20 million power plant in Basse meant to improve energy supply in the region.
This importance of this power plant, aimed at providing energy supply to 44 communities in the region, cannot be overemphasised due to the importance of this town in terms of economic activities and because energy has become the engine of industrialisation and economic growth.
This is a fact that the APRC government is cognizant of, given that no meaningful development is possible in the absence of a vibrant energy sector. And like agriculture, President Jammeh has equally attached importance to this sector; and the result of what has become a Revolution in the energy sector is being felt right across the entire length and breadth of the nation. It has not been an easy task though. But courage, determination and resilience have been crucial in this development.
We need not mention how far the country has come in the quest to ensure adequate and reliable electricity supply. Even the younger generation is aware that before 1994, load shedding was the order of the day in the country, with the electricity supply far below the requisite standard of home consumption. That was in spite of the constant switching of ownership of the country’s only major utilities provider. The electrification of the country began with the doing away of load shedding in the Greater Banjul Area, as the capacity of the electricity supplier was greatly improved.
The Rural Electrification Expansion Programme has the potential to enhance our economy, as industrialisation can only be possible when there is adequate and affordable energy supply. Such achievements are an indication that the government is fairly distributing the available resources of the state across all regions of the country.