EU leaders lobby more funds for Gambia

Monday, October 02, 2017

(Friday, 29th September 2017 Issue)
Prominent officials, including those from Germany, UK, France, Italy and Spain have unanimously accepted that more funding should be delivered to The Gambia, in order to ‘’keep the momentum moving and help assist in various vital projects.’’

The EU noted that such high expectations from a population that finally decide to embrace democracy and implement economic development after two decades of dictatorship... “Any possibility of support should be fast-tracked.”

Prominent EU officials are currently lobbying their fellow members, including the International Cooperation Executives to “as quickly as possible assist in funding the most important Gambian projects for the ‘benefit of a population that willingly embrace democracy with high expectation.”

However, such processes demand that the government of the day must also operate in “good conduct... with integrity and transparency, including the quest for ensuring victims of gross rights violations get justice without further delay.”

Although the EU already pledged around 75 million Euros, which was meant for “immediate spending”, another sum was also kept aside for a “longer term support”. The Point also learnt that the matter has already been forwarded to the appropriate officials for consideration.

In the past, the EU was reluctant to release millions of Euros that was meant for The Gambia, only to be eventually frozen, due to what they described as “horrible human rights records” of Yahya Jammeh’s administration.

The officials also confirmed that there is now a new chapter between the EU and The Gambia, and that there is high regards for the ‘’determination and patience’’ of the Gambians to conduct and implement peaceful and democratic change.

However, officials noted that even though “disbursing and monitoring” the cash was essential, it was vital for people in government, private sector and the community at large work and operate in a more respectful and harmonious manner, so as to safeguard the peace and security of the country. 

The EU also prioritise, among others, the importance of sustainable and inclusive development; the creation of youth employment and private sector growth; agriculture; food security for all; road rehabilitation and help for the most vulnerable, especially those at the village level.

Even though The Point is yet to confirm the date for further disbursement, it reliably understands in a communique that proposal has already been forwarded and ‘’officials are very keen to see to it that it can happen as soon as possible.’’

Author: Alhagie Mbye, The Point’s Europe Correspondent
Source: Picture: EU leaders