#Article (Archive)

Let’s guard our fruitful relations

Jun 23, 2015, 10:11 AM

We cannot really tell what went wrong between The Gambia and the recently-expelled EU Charge’ d’Affaires in The Gambia.

However, it is a fact that for any reaction there must have been action that would warrant a response.

In any case, normalisation of relations is key, especially in the EU-Gambia ties which were very fruitful before the recent happening.

EU support to The Gambia over the years has been substantial, as it has touched on many important sectors of The Gambia.

Over the years, especially in recent times, the EU has continued to give a helping hand to the efforts of the Gambia government at taking this country from one level to another.

The EU has also affected many sectors, such as the private sector, NGOs, and the civil society, with material and moral support to go a few rungs higher, and by extension, spur public sector development.

The 19.9 km Barra-Amdalai Road, which was recently inaugurated at Barra, brought an estimated total amount spent by the EU in the field of infrastructure development in The Gambia to 76.5 million euros, equivalent to more than four billion dalasis.

“In the roads sector alone, the European Union financed the rehabilitation and construction of 273 km of road in The Gambia, which is nearly 50% of the paved road network of this country,”a recent EU statement revealed.

Under the 10th EDF - European Development Fund - the funds made available to The Gambia amounted, in total, to €73.6 million.

EU support to the transport plan under the 9th and 10th EDF resulted in 277km of trunk road being built, repaired and refurbished, “which has significantly improved transport of people and goods across the country, with traveling time being reduced significantly.”

The EU, we understand, also provided support for the successful introduction of Value Added Tax (VAT) and Mid-Term Expenditure Frameworks (MTEF) in close collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, the IMF and the World Bank.

The EU’s support to farmers and the school feeding programme in The Gambia, as well as its contribution to improving food security, also came to the limelight with a 7.6 million EUR programme financed from the Millennium Development Goal Initiative.

The EU has also been contributing to the country’s health sector, especially in treatment of severe cases of acute malnutrition through UNICEF.

We, therefore, continue to pray for continuing good and fruitful relations.

“We could only solve our problems by cooperating with other countries”
Mikhail Gorbachev