Oct 24, 2008, 6:34 AM
Alsup, US Ambassador to The Gambia, has called on Gambians to be patient with
the six-month old government of President Adama Barrow “as there is still work
to be done”.
“We can’t expect President Barrow and his team to turn the country completely around in a few short months,” she said.
Speaking at the US Independence Day reception yesterday at a hotel in Bijilo, Ambassador Alsup said it was so inspiring to feel the energy and enthusiasm gripping the New Gambia these days.
“Every day brings with it new evidence that the government is genuinely devoted to advancing human rights , improving governance and establishing strong and independent institutions,” she said.
United States wants to do all it can to support economic development in The Gambia, Ambassador Alsup told gathered dignitaries, government officials, private sector operators and a cross-section of friends of the United States in The Gambia.
It was the 241st independence anniversary of the US which also marked the 50 years of Peace Corps volunteerism in The Gambia.
The ambassador continued: “Now, I know that there is still work to be done. As we say, ‘Rome was not built in a day’. Even in my own country, we are still working to achieve our ideals. It has taken us over 240 years to advance our current state of democracy, and we are still not finished.
“Like the United States of America, The Gambia is still a work in progress. And, indeed, progress is being made and the transition is truly thrilling to watch.”
Ambassador Alsup said her mission is engaging the government through the American Chamber of Commerce on various aspects of collaboration including supporting entrepreneurship and social aspects of the country’s development drive. The results, she said, are very impactful.
“Just nine months ago, all of this engagement was impossible. In fact, some of our guests [here] were in jail or exile under the previous regime. Tonight is a joyful occasion, but I want to acknowledge those who did not survive to witness this and among them are Ebrima Solo Sandeng, the student martyrs of April 2000, Alhagie Ceesay and Ebrima Jobe, Chief Ebrima Manneh and many other victims. I hold their families and surviving loved ones in my heart tonight and honour their sacrifice, and all who were jailed, tortured and/or cast out of their homeland for standing up.”
Speaking on behalf of the foreign affairs minister, Amadou Sanneh, the finance minister, said the government and the people of The Gambia acknowledge and truly appreciates the contribution of the United States of America.