Nov 29, 2011, 12:35 PM
We have watched closely and have seen steady progress in what the European Union is doing in 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.
Not only that, 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, has brought an estimated total amount spentby the EU on the field of infrastructure in The Gambia to 76.5 million euros, equivalent to more than four billion dalasis.
“In the roads sector alone, the European Union financed a total of 76.5 million euros (more than four billion dalasis) for the rehabilitation and construction of 273 km of road in The Gambia. This is nearly 50% of the paved road network of this country,” said the EU Chargee d' Affaires in The Gambia.
According to the Chargee d' Affaires, this would not be possible without the generosity of the 28-member states of the EU.
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 travelling 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 also contributes its quota to the country’s health sector such as it did in 2012 and 2013 during treatment of severe cases of acute malnutrition through UNICEF.
It is said there’s a difference between someone who needs you and someone who would do anything to keep you. It seems the EU is ready to do all it could to keep its relationship with The Gambia.
“I think a good relationship is about collaboration.”