By Goth Mohamed Goth

Minister of Energy and Minerals of the Republic of Somaliland, Hon Abdillahi Farah Abdi today presided over the contract signing and awarding of funds ceremony for the Somaliland Off-Grid Solar Grant Facility project.

Out of the 26 local off-grid solar (OGS) companies competing companies who submitted their bids, only 12 won the contracts.

During the ceremony Dahabshil Bank International (DBI)  which has been contracted by the Somaliland Ministry of Energy and Minerals to manage this grant facility signed the contracts and disbursed the funds to the 12 eligible local companies with the aim to support the growth of earlier-stage and/or local solar companies intended to provide companies with flexible capital to invest into business growth.

To help address these challenges, the Government of Somaliland (GoSL), with support from the World Bank, is set up the Somaliland Off-Grid Solar Grant Facility to provide grant capital to Somaliland distributors of IEC certified products.

Present during the meeting were the Ministers of Energy and Minerals, the Minister of Employment, Women and Social Affairs,  the Deputy Minister of Finance, the Chairman of the National Electricity Commission, and representatives of the 26 competing companies.

Mr. Liban Haji Mohamud Warfa, the Director of the Energy Department of the Ministry of Minerals and Energy briefing participants on the Somaliland Off-Grid Solar Grant Facility  speaking during the event said,  “In accordance with the national development plan which calls for the acceleration of  the use of energy resources for the economic development of our country and the development of our society.”

Eng. Liban Mohamed Mahmoud, the director of the energy department in the ministry of energy and minerals resources presented the ongoing activities of the Somaliland energy sector, starting with the national energy policy, giving an overview of the policy, the energy policy goal, and its objectives.

He added, “The  main objectives of the facility include supporting households and SMEs get affordable energy by getting access to Lighting  quality-verified Off-Grid Solar (OGS) systems across Somaliland, and

Hon. Abdillahi Farah Abdi, the Minister of Minerals and Energy of the Republic of Somaliland, thanked the World Bank for funding the project, and at the same time highlighted the nation’s need to rebuild and develop the electricity sector for the benefit of the community.

“As you all know, the war in our country has destroyed all our energy infrastructure and currently we don’t have an existing centralized grid that connects electricity in the capital city, surrounding areas, or at the national level”, he said.

He added, “Once again the Government of Somaliland represented by the Ministry of energy and Minerals is extremely grateful to the Word Bank group for their support in the development of this important Power Project.

Mr. Ahmed Farah Adare, the Chairman of the National Energy Commission, speaking uring the occasion pointed out that the Ministry of Minerals and Energy’s project aims to provide efficient and easy access to public electricity services, in collaboration with all national energy development stakeholders.

The Minister of Employment,  Family and Social Affairs Hon. Mustafe Mohamud Ali Bile and other officials who spoke at the event praised the Ministry of Mines and Energy and its partners for their joint efforts in implementing the project and urged them to continue the good work.

The ceremony was concluded with the announcement of the names of the 12 successful companies which qualified for eligibility criteria.