State Opening address by the President on Monday 24 July 2017 has given some
hope that there is some light at the end of the tunnel.
Many good things have been said as regards building the economy and the socio-political milieu of this country.
For instance, high hopes have been placed on the new trade deal between our nation and that of the People’s Republic of China.
Indeed a duty-free trade between the Gambia and China will be highly beneficial to The Gambia, who will be exposed to the huge market opportunities of our Chinese friends. This is more so that the duty free on goods is only applicable to products from The Gambia, as Chinese products will attract duty and tariff payments in entering Gambian market.
Although it still remains to be seen how the benefits are going to be watered down onto the soil of our economy and the lives of the people, the deal will also remove the need for costly trans-shipment of our exports to China through a third party.
Growth in our exports and the financial, economic and foreign exchange benefits that came with it, will surely add value to our economy and contribute to pushing our national development.
While the Barrow regime has labeled itself as an action-oriented government, it has also done well to highlight or recognize its challenges, which we think are also real concerns to satisfying the soul of our economic success dream and the spirit of true democracy and good governance.
“Our immediate priority,” as also succinctly outlined by the President, “is to fix the continuous energy problem as well as the broken economy, unify the nation, improve health and agricultural sub-sectors, end the country’s isolation and introduce robust institutional, electoral and constitutional reforms in line with our new democratic principles that will respond to the realities of our time.…This has to be done in tandem with reforms in the Civil Service and security sector as well as State Owned Enterprises.”
This is good, and while we are not doubting the intention of the present regime in tackling the outlined challenges and other unforeseen ones, we believe solving them will serve as a litmus test for the government’s ability to face up to the challenge of nation building.
We may wish to do well in nation building but it is the mechanisms that we have in place that determine whether we will succeed in achieving our aims and objectives.
“There’s a place for talking and criticism. But there’s also a place to let our actions do the talking!” said Fela Durotoye, an author of several books on national development.
So we hope the Barrow government would rise to the challenge of transforming the economy and getting its developmental reforms in place.
It is essential to note that translating our words into action is the sure way to realizing our good plans and objectives.
“Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle. ”