#Article (Archive)

Making Senegal-Gambia Cooperation Work

Apr 7, 2008, 10:51 AM

There are strong indications that the existing bilateral relations between Senegal and the Gambia are improving to the mutual appreciation of both countries. At least that is impression we get from the speech made by the Senegalese High Commissioner to the Gambia Mr Momodou Fall during the 48thindependence celebration of Senegal at the Sunbeach Hotel last Friday.

We have always insisted that there is need for the moribund Senegalo-Gambia permanent secretariat to be revived; we have always insisted that the armies of both countries have to cooperate for the good of both countries. And we have always urged both heads of state to meet from to time to review the state of the cooperation.

It is with this mindset that we hail the recent disclosure by the Senegalese High Commissioner to the Gambia that plans were already at an advanced to get the consultative commission and the presidential summit underway. With this, then the Senegalo-Gambia permanent secretariat will soon come back to life to strengthen the cooperation to the mutual benefits of the two countries.

We are uniquely positioned to teach the rest of the continent the significance and benefits of integration. When the Secretary of State for Communication, Information and Technology Ms Fatim Badjie said that our common ancestry and history have bonded us together in such a way that we are condemned to live together, she simply stated the obvious. It is to the advantage of both states to emphasise our affinity rather than dwell on differences that are inimical to mutual progress and prosperity.

The memorandum of understanding signed by thechiefs of defence staffof both countries is commendable in the sense that it will help to reassure both countries that either of them is committed to peaceful co-existence and good neighbourliness. It is important that both countries make this commitment because there is no way trade can flourish between the two countries in an atmosphere of suspicion and instability.

We therefore reiterate our call for a stronger and better Senegal-Gambia relations based on the activities and programmes that will be developed by technocrats of both countries at the permanent secretariat when it becomes operational.

" We make our friends, we make our enemies; but God makes our next-door neighbour".

G.K. Chesterton