President, last week, The Gambia offered a tremendous welcome to their
highnesses, Prince Charles and his wife to The Gambia. This visit marks a very
important step in the history of the country as your government tries to
reconcile with its former colonial master, Britain.
The Gambia was ruled by Great Britain for about 400 years of colonialism but during the regime of dictator Jammeh, he decided to withdraw The Gambia’s membership from the Commonwealth for reasons known to him.
Mr. President, having tried all efforts to make sure that The Gambia is back to the Commonwealth which has been manifested by this visit of their highnesses, it’s an opportunity for your government to enhance more cooperation with our former colonial master, Great Britain in areas such Education, trade, tourism, Transportation, security, energy to name a few.
Hence our relationship with Britain has been way back in history, It’s also important that your government work with the British government in the area of immigration as there are thousands of Gambians living in Britain and their cordial welfare should always be looked into. Those living there for years without criminal records should have official documents to stay without hindrance.
Mr. President, we also welcome today the signing of a €50 million grant with the French government through their minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean Yves Le Drian. The grant which is to assist your government’s budget, on agriculture and Water supply should use wisely and responsibly.
Other areas of interventions that need assistance from the French are: education, telecommunication, security and energy. The French language should be introduced to our national education curriculum starting at an early age to encourage bilingualism in the country. France has funded workshops for TRRC.
Mr. President, as your government is set to sign an MoU with the Saudi government for Gambians to work in Saudi, over 1000 hotel workers are expected to be going to Saudi to work in the near future.
In the wake of news throughout the world that workers are being maltreated in the Kingdom of Saudi is of great concern to the nation, as years back, some Gambians who went to Kuwait had bitter experience in that country. They were exploited and maltreated in Kuwait and we don’t want such to be repeated in the Saudi kingdom as most Arab countries are involved in this inhumane practice.
We hope that the Saudi Kingdom will respect the MoU if signed with The Gambia and treat its citizens well.
Finally Mr. President, we are still calling on your government to intervene in the transport system of the country as transportation is becoming very difficult for workers and students on a daily basis.
It’s time for your government to release the over 20 buses that were donated to your government by the Turkish government to help ease the transport difficulty in the country.