GOOD MORNING MR PRESIDENT: Diplomacy on its core

Monday, March 19, 2018

Mr. President, during the first Presidential Council meeting held in Banjul from the 11th to the 13th March, 2018, your government and the government of Senegal issued a joint communiqué in areas of Defense and Security, Justice, Consular Matters, Tourism and Energy that your respective ministers should pursue. These areas are very important and we congratulate your two governments for this welcomed move.

Mr. President, two major areas that the two countries should work on is to strengthen our security and work in good partnership to combat terrorism and any attacks against the two states.

In the Transport area, buses and taxis should be allowed to come up to Barra and from Barra to Dakar and other parts of Senegal. The restrictions of commercial vehicles to stop at the borders are not convenient. Cooperation on free movement of people and goods should be prioritised.

Mr. President, despite Senelec’s supply of electricity in the provinces, the agreement on Senegal promising to provide an additional 1 Mega Watt of power to The Gambia by April 2018 is very timely as your government is still faced with one of its unresolved challenges; electricity and water supply.

Mr. President, with your government signing these agreements with Senegal, we hope and pray that they will be implemented in the interest of the two nations – we are one people, the same family and the same culture. However, Mr. President, the two countries should also look into the cost of air transport because it is too expensive between them. 

Mr. President, last week was a busy one for you as a number of ambassadors presented their credentials to you. This is very welcoming as The Gambia is working on establishing diplomatic ties with other countries. Your government should use these opportunities to co-operate with these countries in areas of Tourism, Transport, Energy, Education, Sports, Electricity, Roads, and Fishing etc, etc.

With defensive diplomacy, South-South Cooperation should be reinforced through bilateral cooperation.

Mr. President, over the whole of last week, the doctors have been on strike over a statement made by the Health minister. In spite of the minister apologising for her statement, the doctors are still on strike.

Mr. President, its time you intervene to resolve this problem as the doctors are important in the country. There is a common saying: “A healthy nation is a wealthy nation.” We are calling on all the stakeholders involved to sit together and dialogue to reach an amicable solution to this problem once and for all. We are also appealing to the doctors to bury the hatchet and turn a new page for the betterment of the country.

Mr. President, the electricity and water supply is still vital in the country. There was a time it was improving but since the beginning of this month, things have been getting worse. We are calling on NAWEC to give an update on what the current situation is on the electricity and water supply of the country.

Finally, Mr. President, the national ID cards, passports and driving licences problem is still unsolved and these documents are very important for every citizen. We therefore challenge your government to do something for the people.

Good day