#Article (Archive)

Dr Patrick Chang an Exemplary Diplomat Deserving of Thanks and Worthy of Emulation

Apr 29, 2008, 7:45 AM | Article By: By Augustine Kanjia

In today's Society and Development we bring to you a diplomat who has done everything for this country to improve the livelihoods of Gambians. This of course is no other diplomat but the out going Taiwanese Ambassador His Excellency Dr. Patrick Chang. Within his three-year tenure of office as a representative of the people of Taiwan Dr. Chang left no stone unturned in contributing to the soco-economic development of this country particularly in the areas of education, health and agriculture.Hardly a fourth night past without Dr.Chang presenting a cheque or donating items to the Gambian Government and people, making him the must popular ambassador in the country.

After representing his government and people in The Gambia for three years as head of Taiwan's mission, Dr Patrick Chang, is set to leave the country on Thursday for good. But his going, to him, will not affect the diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with our own Nfamara Jawneh at his office in Kanifing last Thursday, Dr Chang expressed his gratitude to the media, government and people of The Gambia for the support and hospitality accorded to him during his term. He also thanked the Gambian leader President Yahya Jammeh for his personal support and for improving the lives of Gambian people. "I enjoyed working in this country for more three years now, we were always invited to the state banquet and we took part in president's birthday and cultural festivities. One thing that I would not forget especially is our visits to Kanilai," he said.

The outgoing Taiwanese Ambassador catalogued the various major projects undertaken by his government during his tenure. "During these past three years, the thing that I would not forget is that I have the great honour of accompaigning the president to Taiwan and I learned a lot from the president and he is a great leader. He always has the interests of people at heart. The president told me he is always inspired when ever he goes to Taiwan as you know he visited Taiwan seven times". Dr. Chang also told me of his admiration for President Jammeh's Operation No Compromise Policy, which he believes, would encouraged government officials not to be corrupt and to work hard. " I believe this has laid a good foundation for good governance". Dr Chang was also impressed with operation clean the nation. This he said would make the country to be a healthy nation.

He said that there are a few projects that need to be complete but is of confidence that his successor will complete them. "Well we will continue to do the good work, in the areas of solar energy and traditional medicine programmes." He also acknowledged the support of the out going government of Taiwan for its support.

Among these, he recalled is the construction of two senior secondary schools namely those of Siffoe and Mayork, Science and Technology Academy in Kanilai, a conference centre, and a recording studio also in Kanilai and the awarding of many scholarships for undergraduate MA and Ph.D. programmes.

He also revealed that funds for construction of feeder roads, renovation of military barracks, installation of streets lights are available while support of over $US 700, 000 to the President's Empowerment of Girls Education Program (PEGEP) is an yearly pledge. He mentioned the support to the University of The Gambia, funds for vehicles and 221 motorbikes for the police.

On agriculture, he cited the success registered by Taiwan's Technical Mission in the country by working in collaboration with farmers and the national agricultural development agency NADA to help the country in its strives to attain food self sufficiency.

On health he revealed that they have provided funds for polio vaccination, an Avian Flu campaign, funds for HIV/AIDS treatment programme, grants for the payment of Cuban medical doctors, meningitis and the supply of CT scanners and Hemodialisis machines to RVTH. He said that they also helped in the area of humanitarian crises like disasters and flooding and the support for the operation eradicate malaria in The Gambia.

Dr Chang expressed the hope that his successor, Mr Rechard Shih, would continue from where he left off and do even more good work.

Latest developments come against the backdrop of a March 2008 general election in Taiwan, in which the opposition emerged victorious. This led to the downfall of President Chen Shu Bian.

Dr Chang, who leaves the country on May 1st2008, declared his intention to retire after having done, in his view, a lot for his country. His successor is due here on May 15th2008.