Gambian President Adama Barrow in his New Year has disclosed that The Gambia
has debts of more than 1 billion US dollars – a staggering 120% of debt to GDP.
This, he said is equivalent to each household owing about 4500 US dollars.
In addition, state assets have been neglected, citing electricity as a case in point.
Barrow said that the GDP growth for 2018 is projected at 3.8 percent compared with a growth of 2.2 percent in 2016. He added that agriculture, industry and service sectors are all expected to register positive growth compare to the year ending.
“NAWEC generators have not been maintained and have been run into the ground,” the president said. In October, he said two generators were shut down for scheduled overhaul, but in the course of a few weeks, three other generators broke down, which caused unacceptable power cuts.
“I must say I was deeply encouraged by the level of patience demonstrated by the Gambians under the difficult condition,” he said. “As a government, we have taken the decision to plan for additional new power plant as a medium and long-term plan and a complete overhaul of the ageing generators.”
The Gambian leader said that his government has set out an energy roadmap to help fix the continuous energy crisis. This plan, he added is already attracting donors and investors.
He noted that these are some of the steps they have undertaken for this country to graduate from isolation and collapse economy to a vibrant destination for investors and a centre of attractions for people in the sub region and beyond.
“During the year under review my administration has forged relationship with many development partners and made so many genuine friends within a short span of time,” he said. “We engaged many partners to rebuild our economy but also our social ties across religious, geographical and political boundaries.”
He explained that this goodwill has since translated into benefits as signs of progress in our democracy and macro-economic status are already seen. “The port has seen an increase in trade. Tourism has recovered and there is a mark improvement in our macro-economic status.”