President Barrow's address on the inauguration of the OMVG Soma Sub-Station Energy Project in LRR










Your Excellency, Mr. Macky SALL, President of the Republic of Senegal,

Your Excellency, General Umaro Sissoco Embaló, President of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau,

Your Excellency, the Vice President,

Your Lordship, the Chief Justice

Honourable Minister of State, Honourable Minister of Natural Resources and Energy of Guinea-Bissau and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the OMVG,

Honourable Minister of Water and Sanitation of Senegal,

Honourable Minister of Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources of The Gambia,

High Commissioner of the OMVG,

Secretary General of the Ministry of Energy of Guinea,

Senior Government Officials and Service Chiefs present,

Representatives of the Diplomatic Corps, 

Presidents and Executive Secretaries of Organisations in charge of the Energy and Water sectors,

General Manager of TRANSCO CLSG,

Governor of LRR and other Governors present,

The Community of Soma,

Representatives of EIFFAGE T & D/ELECNOR Construction Company,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,


I am filled with joy and singularly honoured to welcome, very warmly, our honoured guests who travelled long distances to attend the inauguration of the OMVG Soma Electrical Interconnection Sub-station. The special welcome they received from the residents of the area demonstrates that they are among genuine friends, brothers, and sisters. I urge them, therefore, to feel at home.   


Ladies and gentlemen, people say that “we reap what we sow.” Others prefer to assert that “hard work pays.” This occasion affirms these words of wisdom.


Three years ago, we gathered here to mark the beginning of The Gambia’s ambitious OMVG electricity project. After years of hard work and patience, we are here to celebrate the successful completion of that ground-breaking project and to reap the fruits of our joint efforts and investments. Indeed, we have come, finally, to inaugurate the Soma Sub-station.


Ladies and Gentlemen,


This project has an international character, and attracts the keen interest of The Gambia, Senegal, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, and the West African sub-region. I am hopeful that its significance and impact will be positively felt and welcome within the sub-region.


As a result, its successful completion deserves endorsement and commendation on the African continent, and it should serve as a reference point and source of inspiration and emulation.


I am confident also that this project will contribute to strengthening our relations and cement the bonds of solidarity among our friendly countries.



If there was need for a piece of evidence to indicate 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.


With this in view, I congratulate all those who supported the project or showed interest in its completion.


Our Honoured Guests,

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,


At the national level, this OMVG project is part of my government's policy and goal of generating sufficient energy for national use and ensuring access to electricity countrywide. Quite clearly, the project is an additional link in this vital development scheme.


In pursuing our target of providing energy for all by 2025, The Gambia Government continues to pay special attention to those in the rural area. This guided the selection of Soma for the location of the sub-station.


Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,


The Soma substation has an overall generation capacity of 225/30 KV. It is one of the fifteen (15) substations in a loop of OMVG Energy Projects. Its power supply will be generated from the Kaléta and Souapiti hydroelectric plants in Guinea.


This OMVG arrangement is the outcome of the electricity procurement contracts negotiated in 2019 between the National Electricity Company of Guinea (EDG), on one hand, and, on the other, the National Electricity Companies of the three other Member States, namely: NAWEC of The Gambia, EAGB of Guinea-Bissau and Senelec of Senegal.


Pending the completion of work on the interconnection line for the transit of energy from Kaléta and Souapiti, The Gambia will negotiate a contract with Senegal for electricity supply to the Soma substation.


I reassure the residents of this area that, from now on, Soma and its surrounding communities will enjoy regular electricity supply distributed from this substation. You deserve no less and will receive no less from my government.


Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,


Allow me to thank their Excellencies, President of the Republic of Senegal, Mr. Macky SALL and, General Umaro Sissoco Embaló, President of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau for their cooperation. They appreciate that our strength lies in working together for the integration of our sub-region. I thank them for their immense support to the OMVG.


Together, we can all rejoice, satisfied that our historic decision of 29 January 2016 in Addis Ababa to reform the OMVG has started bearing fruit. Besides, the OMVG project launched on 4th February 2018 in Kaléta, Guinea, is an accomplished reality today.


At this point, I must express sincere thanks to the community of Technical and Financial Partners. Specifically, they include the African Development Bank, the World Bank, the Islamic Development Bank, the European Investment Bank, the French Development Agency, the German Development Bank, the West African Development Bank, and the Kuwait Fund for Development. The Kuwaiti Fund mobilised seven hundred and twenty-two (722) million US Dollars for the realisation of the project. We are most grateful to all partners.


I cannot fail to mention the financial contributions of the OMVG Member States to compensate all those affected by the Project.

It is not feasible to name every contributor to this achievement; however, it is fitting to publicly thank:

  • the OMVG High Commission team,
  • the company EIFFAGE T & D / ELECNOR,
  • the Control, Supervision and Supervision Mission for the Energy Project (AECOM),
  • the Technical Assistance Mission to the OMVG (Gauff),
  • the Management and Project Unit (PMU), and
  • the various Gambian public services that supported the project.

I also convey, in no small way, gratitude and satisfaction to the inhabitants of Soma and the whole Gambian nation for their support and patience. 


Your Excellencies,

Distinguished Personalities,

Ladies and gentlemen,


Finally, it is my honour and pleasure to declare the Soma substation of the OMVG Energy Project officially open.


Long live the Republic of The Gambia!

Long live the OMVG!

Long live sub-regional integration!


I thank you all for your attention.