‘Gambia & India share many things in common’

Friday, August 02, 2019

Indian President said on Wednesday that his nation and The Gambia have achieved a new milestone in their relations in which Gambia’s new democracy has brought new sovereignty to the people.

Ram Nath Kovind said the two nations are not only small but they share many common activities that is mutual to the livelihood and development of their people. “Let us together be the force of change,” he said.

Addressing the National Assembly as part of his two-day working visit to The Gambia, President Kovind, a professional lawyer and former key Indian parliamentarian, said India’s partnership with The Gambia has flourished even at the global level, saying the two countries need each other to realise the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Mr. Kovind arrived in The Gambia Tuesday afternoon which is described as a “shine spotlight on the strong bilateral ties between the two countries and the highest level of Indian official visit ever to The Gambia.

He said appealed to Gambia government to partner with India to improve medical and health development and to promote their traditional medicine. “We have no choice but to strengthen the global fight against terrorism. India and Africa are mutual partners. India and Africa share the same development challenges,” he said.

Gambia’s relation with the South-Asian nation began in 1965 and continued to grow mainly in the fields of trade and education.

Mr. Kovind, who became India’s president some two years ago said his country will remain committed to strengthen Gambia’s capacity, saying India has extended a credit facility of 11 billion US dollars to 41 African countries, including The Gambia. “As the world seeks for commitment to global challenges, the voices of the people must be heard.”

He said he could not have anything less in a country that is called the Smiling Coast of Africa, saying that he came The Gambia to deepen ties. “India played a deep role in the de-colonisation of Africa, including the great role played by Mahatma Ghandi. When freedom came to the door steps of Africans, we were there to receive you.”

Wednesday morning, President Kovind had a discussion with President Adama Barrow at State House in Banjul, where they discussed potential projects, including face lifting of the Banjul International Airport and the long awaited expansion of the Banjul sea port.

The former Dav College law student said the India-Gambia relations came a long way and the bond of friendship has been enjoyed by every Indian. “We appreciate President Adama Barrow’s role in nurturing the democratic practices and we hope that these values will grow.”

He said Gambia’s three years development blueprint; the National Development Plan (NDP) has already started to revitalise economy, promising that India will stand by The Gambia in its realisation of set targeted goals, mainly in the NDP.