first Gambian to be elected in the Swedish Parliament has expressed optimism
about the future of this country, but signaled that the country needs sound
reform policies to get there.
In an exclusive interview with The Point shortly after his arrival in The Gambia, Momodou Malcom Jallow, said he was in the country to personally meet state machineries including ministers to discuss issues relevant to the development of the country.
As a member of parliament of the Swedish Parliament the sole aim of Mr. Jallow’s visit to The Gambia was serves as a gateway to facilitate and improve the relationship between Sweden and The Gambia. Although he not here on behalf of the Swedish government.
He is also expected to meet the private sector in the bid to encourage public-private sector partnership which he believes helps propel the economy.
“Gambia has great potentials, If you look at the population of The Gambia, a lot of people are very young (high human resources) compared to Europe which has an aging population; which will result that in the next 20 years, most people will be retiring so young people are in high demand there” he said.
Mr. Jallow disclosed that the youths in the country need capacity building, adding that the government needs to make sure that young people have the opportunity to build up their capacities and have the technical know-how which will contribute in the development of the country.
“Government alone cannot do it since we have just recovered from long dictatorship and now we’re claiming to have democracy,” he said. “But the full in take is not given as it is something that needs to be built up.”
He revealed that as a member of the parliament and as an African decent for that matter, his role is to help out and put the possibilities together as he has several potentials to be able to facilitate some of the discussions they have in their parliament, which said will make it easier to build a relationship between the Gambia and Sweden.
He added that the economy plays a very important role and there are many reforms that need to be in place as the National Assembly of the Gambia is trying to restructure.
“For example when it comes to trade, the government is trying to motivate people to invest in the country, and I happen to conduct meetings with the various ministries in The Gambia, only then I will be able to go back to Sweden and talk with the Ministry of Chamber of Commerce to provide them with all the necessary information and hopefully it will serve as an investment between the two countries” he opined.
Being the first Gambian in his position, no one can tell when the next Gambian will be elected and how long it will take for the next Gambian to be elected. But Mr. Jallow hoped to take this opportunity to build the bilateral relationship and looked forward to the government and non-governmental organisations to understand the urgency of his visit and make good use of it.
The Swedish National Assembly member disclosed that public-private sector partnership is extremely important as it is the driver of the economy although Gambia’s economy has not been doing very well, he said. He added that the public sector cannot do everything, as The Gambia needs private sector to invest whereas the private sector will invest and pay a fair share of their taxes and to table down conditions of which the people that are to be employed will be paid good wages as well as a conducive environment to work.