May 4, 2009, 9:29 AM
The government of the Republic of China on Taiwan (ROC) through its embassy in Banjul yesterday granted four hundred thousand dollars to The Gambia government.
The money, according to officials, is meant for the construction of a modern multipurpose skills training centre in Ndemban in Foni Berefet in Western Region, as part of its Technical Vocational Education Training Project.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, the Taiwanese Ambassador to The Gambia H.E Richard Shih expressed delight at the gesture.
According to him, his office has been working closely with the National Training Authority, Ministries of Finance and Higher Education in order to achieve what President Jammeh had anticipated to have at the and of the project. The President, he said is looking forward to seeing a very high quality training centre in The Gambia.
"Am also looking forward to working closer with other related departments, and hopefully we can see a very good quality vocational training centre in a short period of time," he noted.
On behalf of The Gambia government, the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Abdou Colley thanked the Taiwanese government through Ambassador Shih for the benevolence.
He revealed that in December last year; the two governments had signed a loan agreement on the financing of technical and vocational education programme which was initially proposed to be situated in Siffoe and Ndemban.
"As part of the condition for the loan it was made known to the Taiwanese government that under the programme the loans that we agreed did not meet all the conditions, that is 45% grant element. And to meet that requirement the ROC government thought its embassy should provide an additional grant of $400, 000.00," he disclosed, and then applauded the Taiwanese government for their understanding.
"We are very much appreciative of your efforts for being very supportive to the overall development of The Gambia," said Minister Colley.
Yusupha Dibba, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Higher Education also thanked the ROC government for the support, which he noted would go a long way towards empowering the youths.
Mrs. Naffie Barry, the Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Finance chaired the ceremony, and challenged the Ministry of Higher Education and NTA to ensure a successful implementation of the project.