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Government secures US$10m for Bilingual Education

Apr 17, 2012, 1:04 PM

The Gambia government and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) on 4 April 2012 signed a loan agreement worth US$10 million in order to finance a Bilingual Education Support Project.

The loan is to be repaid over a period of 25 years at an annual interest rate of 2.5%. The terms of the loan include a repayment holiday of seven years.

The Bilingual Education Support Project is aimed at improving the quality and relevance of Madrasah education through the promotion and strengthening of bilingual education.

The project will also improve access to Madrasah education through the construction of 219 classrooms and the recruitment of 400 teachers. Furniture and teaching materials will also be provided.

In addition, the project will provide for training and curriculum development in order to strengthen Madrasah education management.

The IDB was created in 1975 in order to foster the economic development and social progress of its member countries in accordance with the principles of Sharia Law.

Its functions include providing equity capital and grant loans for productive projects and enterprises as well as providing financial assistance to member countries in other forms.

There are 56 member countries. The Gambia has been a member since 1980.

Since 1980, the IDB has approved $376m of which $227m has been for financing priority development projects in the country, particularly in the telecommunications and energy sectors.

A further $149m has been for financing trade, including the importation of essential commodities and crop financing. 

The Gambia government has agreed with the IDB a further 12 projects over the next three years, which together are worth over US$470m. The IDB has agreed to provide finance of US$160m.

These projects will address various sectors of the economy including agriculture, education, health, transport, industry, water and sanitation.

These are all priority areas in the Programme for Accelerated Growth and Employment (PAGE), which was launched in December 2011 by the government, with the objective of improving the productive base of the country’s economy.

Hon. Mambury Njie, minister of Finance & Economic affairs signed on behalf the Republic of the Gambia while Dr. Mohamed Ali, President of the Bank Group signed for the Islamic Development Bank.