The president in his speech explained that the occasion highlights the historic realisation of the people’s dreams and the project marked a huge national infrastructural development and a major milestone in the implementation of the 2018-2021 National Development Plan. With the completion of the Basse-Koina road, Barrow said, the main throng? roads of the national highway are now successfully developed to standard.
“This main highway stretches from the West Coast to the Eastern Region and runs along the entire North and South band of the country. Our road network is the backbone of the country’s transport system. There is no doubt that this achievement will facilitate and promote the free movement of people, and goods and services.”
The president stated that the completion of the project implies improvement of living standards and also signifies increased economic activities and wider access to social services such as health and education.
He added that Gambia-China bilateral relations are based on principles of sincerity, mutual gain and good faith.
“In 2020, the bilateral trade volume between the two countries reached $570 million. Of this, The Gambia imported goods worth $540 million and exported goods worth $30 million. In all, export to the TRC increased from 5.7% in 2019 to 11.6% in 2020. Trade expansion during my presidency, the relation and cooperation between the two countries facilitates key development project for The Gambia, The Gambia national broad band network and the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara international conference center with a combined portfolio of $75 million are sufficient examples.”
He continued that the government of China financed the $80 million project on grant which covers the Basse-Fatoto-Koina road, the Basse-Wulli Bridge and link road, the Basse Bridge and link roads, the Chamoye and Suduwol Bridge.
He asserted that the roads and bridges are of international grade 2 highway standard, saying to prevent road accidents, the design is based on a speed limit of 60km per hour in rural settings and 40km per hour in urban settings.
Counselor Lau of the Chinese embassy explained that over the past five years, the Chinese government has provided more than 5, 000 tons of humanitarian emergency food aid to the country.
“From 2017 to 2021, almost 1, 000 Gambians have been invited to china for training to enhance their professional knowledge and skills. We assisted in completing the bridges and roads to achieve social and economic development.”
Counselor Lau thanked the country and promises China’s continuous support to the country’s development.