Executive Secretary of the Senegalo-Gambian Permanent Secretariat, Ambassador
Paul Badji, said the new dynamics that guide the Senegalo-Gambian relations
should be an asset.
Ambassador Badji made these remarks on Thursday at the opening session of the first-ever multi-sectoral forum of the public and private stakeholders from The Gambia and Senegal, held at the King Fahad Palace Hotel in Dakar, Senegal.
The first edition, organised by the Senegalo-Gambian Permanent Secretariat, in partnership with the Senegalese-Gambian Association for Integration and Social Economic Development was attended by Her Excellency, the Vice-President Aja Fatoumata Jallow-Tambajang, cabinet ministers, government officials, as well as representatives from both public and private sector institutions.
The economic forum is looking forward to passing a recommendation at the end of the session for possible implementation.
In his welcoming remarks, Badji said, it was their duty as Senegambian citizens and stakeholders to individually and collectively take ownership of that mission and build business networks in areas of common interest for the benefit of the economies of the two countries.
He remarked that the objective of the forum was to serve as a framework for reflecting, exchanging information and ideas, as well as sharing experiences and expression of the political will, so as to lay solid foundation for win-win partnerships.
He outlined the numerous achievements recorded between the two countries, such as the agreements signed in the area of defense and security, tourism, consular assistance and representation, fisheries and aquaculture, among others.
Badji informed the audience that there was a large room for progress in policy harmonisation in a good number of sectors, which the two governments could explore further for the benefits of Senegalo-Gambian populations.
He emphasized that the forum was an opportunity for all the stakeholders to interact, establish contacts and possibly sign joint ventures of Memorandum of Understanding, like the Dakar Dem Dikk company and the Gambia Transport Services Company have done earlier.
Momodou Jagana, President of the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that during the political impasse Senegal as part of Ecowas contributed immensely to ensure that democracy, peace, justice and rule of law restored back in The Gambia.
President Mack Sall’s involvement has brought the two countries closer politically; hence the business community in the spirit of brotherly neighborliness cohesion is sealing that bond by holding the historic summit in Dakar.
He mentioned that it was time for the economic operators to push their governments, in order to put in place effective policies forthe mutual benefits oftheir diverse populations.
He noted that they have low hanging fruits that could be explored immediately in certain sectors, such as the tourism (inter-country) trade, telecoms, technology, infrastructure, energy and education.
He then called on the need to nurture this special relationship so that thousands of small medium entrepreneurs could benefit from the potential market size of the two countries, with economic policies that breakdown barrier.