Gambian Ambassador in U.K. highlights Intl. community’s goodwill towards Banjul

Monday, June 18, 2018

Francis Blain, The Gambian High Commissioner in London has highlighted the indication of goodwill by the U.K. government as well as the United Nations (UN), European Union (EU), African Union (AU), and others towards the government of The Gambia.

The Gambian diplomat was delivering a speech during the celebration of Eid attended by Gambians and other worshipers in London.

The Gambian High Commissioner also recalled the visit to The Gambia in February 2017, by a number of foreign dignitaries including Boris Johnson, the U.K.’s Foreign Secretary, Tony Blair, former British Prime Minister, as well as officials from the UN, EU, AU and other countries cumulatively indicate the goodwill that the international community has for government of The Gambia.

High Commissioner Blain thus stressed that concerted efforts are made at all levels particularly by The Gambia Foreign Service to harness the goodwill into concrete and tangible development assistance.

The goodwill shown to The Gambia by the International Community he added was recently given practical expression by the significant financial pledges made by the International Community at the donors’ conference of The Gambia national development plan 2018 to 2021 held in Brussels on May 22, 2018.

He also noted that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), including support for strategic initiatives elaborated by The Gambia government’s design to enhance the country’s international competitiveness so as to ensure an effective participation in the global economy was also important, adding that it is ‘‘the sine qua non in the era of globalisation’’.

Furthermore, High Commissioner Blain, stressed that when he was appointed, his initial focus includes was to fast-track the re-entry of The Gambia into the Commonwealth of Nations.

The High Commissioner anticipated that the U.K. will increase its assistance in support of the Gambian’s socio-economic and human resources development that can be in the form of Commonwealth scholarships tenable in the U.K. as part of a coordinated effort to increase and strengthen national capacities in various areas.

“We are currently giving special focus to mobilising FDI from the UK to The Gambia including the identification of potential areas, project profiles and project ideas designed to attract British investors.’’

Furthermore, he revealed that The Gambia High Commission and the Director of the Gambia Tourism Board in London will be discussing with tour operators and Flight Carriers in the U.K. to determine what needs to be done to increase the number of tourists going to The Gambia and the other Scandinavian countries’’.

Additionally, High Commissioner Blain, noted that given the extensive and comprehensive experience of the NORDIC countries in the area of fishing, assistance will be provided in fisheries development; improve fisheries technology; preservation technology; aquaculture; marketing and the establishment of an effective framework for a fisheries regime that would ensure a more rationalised and beneficial exploitation of our fisheries resources’’.

The Gambian diplomat also acknowledged that High Commission staff are giving him all the support needed to ensure the full and effective implementation of these initiatives.

Author: Alhagie Mbye, The Point’s Europe Correspondent.