May 28, 2015, 10:09 AM
The Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Mambury Njie, on 21 October presided over the opening ceremony of a two-day national validation forum on the Programme for Accelerated Growth and Employment (PAGE) at the Kairaba Beach Hotel.
In his speech, Hon. Njie said the forum marks a significant milestone in the development process of the PAGE and the country as a whole.
He said the crucial and development-oriented blueprint when fully implemented will be the successor plan to the PRSPII, which is in its final year of implementation.
Hon. Njie asserted that the principal objective of the PAGE is to accelerate growth and employment to sustain socio-economic achievements and reinforce gains registered.
This important document (PAGE) would correspond with the attainment of the MDGs with its strategies aimed at consolidating the gains registered and helping to address the challenges related to the attainment of some of the MDGs, he says.
“The document therefore has a strong link with the MDGs and the country is currently developing an MDGs Acceleration Framework with support from the UNDP,” he said.
Mr Njie further encouraged the stakeholders to focus on key issue and priority interventions in line with the PAGE emphasizing on growth and employment.
He stated that to ensure effective implementation of the PAGE, a dedicated capacity building Priority Action Plan (PAP) is being developed from the global PAP submitted by sectors.
“This will look at various efficient and cost-effective modalities of capacity building,” he said.
The government is taking concrete steps to revitalize and strengthen planning units in government institutions and at regional levels.
Hon. Njie used the occasion to commend development partners, especially the UNDP, for their technical and financial support during the preparatory process.
For his part, UNDP Resident Representative, Chinwe Dike, commended The Gambia for preparing PAGE 2012-2015 covering the main aspects of the country strategic development plan for the period 2012 - 2015.
He noted that the implementation of the PAGE would also contribute to the attainment of the MDGs and the Vision 2020.
He also asserted that as the main national planning document, the PAGE would form the basis for continued dialogue with development partners.