The Gambian leader made the remarks in his State of the Nation address for the 2023 legislative year at the assembly chambers where he addressed the condition of the country and outlined the government's policies.
President Barrow said disunity is a threat to progress.
‘The critical factor that threatens peace and development most is disunity. We may belong to different political parties, religious faiths, or other social groupings, but we must unite as a nation to realise our national targets.’
‘Honourable Members, while discharging your duties, I urge you to dialogue and initiate bi-partisan collaboration in a positively democratic manner. This would allow you to table issues not exclusively from political party perspectives, but from genuine patriotic standpoints and through the people’s lenses.’ He said.
The Head of State further said the core mandate of the Executive, the Legislature, and the Judiciary are ‘interlocked’ thus requiring them to work together.
‘Once we have a common goal, such as the development and progress of the people we serve, there will always be the need to unite.’
The president said the legal frameworks, policies, and programmes developed and mentioned in his address are relevant and good enough to guide the people to success. But, ‘the Assembly and the public have a facilitating role to play in their implementation process.’
He promised to serve the country with a ‘clear conscience, vision, and realistic development plans and programmes.’
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On the sidelines of the Saudi-Africa Summit, several Saudi dignitaries called on His Excellency Adama Barrow in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to discuss bilateral and other diplomatic issues of mutual concern to their institutions and The Gambia.In his first engagement on Thursday, 9th November 2023, the President held an audience with the Islamic Development Bank Group Chairman, H.E Dr Mohammed bin Sulaiman Al-Jasser. President Adama Barrow commended the Bank for the magnificent support provided to his Government, from the construction of the University of The Gambia Faraba Banta Campus to the Bertil Harding Highway and other flagship projects.In acknowledging the ISDB Group's significant contribution to the country's development, President Barrow described the Bank as a "valued partner" towards realising his dream and vision for The Gambia.In augmenting its great support to The Gambia, the Islamic Development Bank Group commits to extending and expanding another much-needed road infrastructure project in the Great Banjul Area.President Adama Barrow, in appreciation, thanked the IsDB and said, "The extension of the Bertil Harding Highway to Kafuta and an additional bypass bridge at the Sukuta Traffic Light Junction are highly welcomed projects." He also urged the Bank Chairman to explore the funding possibility of the bypass road from Banjul to the airport through a Public Private Partnership arrangement.The IsDB Group Chairman, Dr Mohammed bin Sulaiman Al-Jasser, said the Bank showcased The Gambia as a success story in its portfolio because of the flagship projects such as the University of The Gambia and the Bertil Harding Highway achieved under what he called "the excellent leadership" of President Barrow. He added that the Islamic Development Bank is willing to collaborate with The Gambia to bring about more national development and prosperity for Gambians.In another engagement, President Barrow received the Saudi Minister of Environment, Agriculture, and Water Resources, H.E. Abdulrahman Al-Fadhli, and discussed bilateral cooperation and partnership in areas to strengthen food security and access to clean water in The Gambia.President Barrow invited the Saudi Minister to cooperate in Agriculture investment and water resources, emphasising his Government's determination to provide Gambians with accessible and clean drinking water and enhance food security.Minister Al-Fadhli welcomed the President's invitation and pledged his Ministry's willingness to send an Agriculture investment mission to The Gambia and have bilateral cooperation with The Gambia's Ministry of Water Resources. He offered to support the Ministry in sending a mission to study the Kingdom's Water Management System for production and distribution.In his final engagement on Thursday, President Barrow held an audience with the Secretary General of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth - WAMY, Dr Saleh bin Sulaiman Al-Wohaibi. They discussed the plight of Muslim Youths, who form about 60% of the Muslim population, and the need to provide skills for the youth through education and social amenities in their environment.President Barrow took the opportunity and thank WAMY for its work in The Gambia in providing wells, mosques, and scholarships to students. It also supports the needy during Muslim festive periods with foodstuff.Dr. Al-Wohaibi said they are willing to support the needy through charitable acts as prescribed by Islam and mentioned that they will continue to do so with the support of their financiers and the appreciation of beneficiaries. In the Gambia, WAMY is also partnering with the Fatoumatta Bah- -Barrow Foundation - FaBB to complement the Government's effort to provide social amenities in communities.
Inadequate medical infrastructure, a shortage of health care resources and limited access to essential health services have left many Gambians without the quality healthcare they deserve.Numerous African nations facing health sector challenges, have adopted digital public infrastructure as a means to alleviate inadequacies impeding healthcare through digital solutions. In a landmark move, the Government of the Gambia embraced digital transformations to enhance healthcare services, with the intention to make healthcare more accessible and efficient for all Gambians. This initiation of The Gambia's National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) which carves an ambitious promise to cover the entire population, is a significant step in the country's pursuit of Universal Health Coverage (UHC).“The systems all along had been manual process and then we have challenges along the line, this includes data coalition, archiving the data, retrieving the data from the database is also a problem, so if the people misplaced their certificates, we find it difficult to retrieve the certificates.”-Lamin Fatty, Registrar, Birth & Death, Ministry of Health The journey towards realizing the vision of the NHIS reached a critical milestone in 2021 when the National Assembly passed the National Health Insurance Bill into law. This significant achievement was followed by the crucial approval of the President H.E Adama Barrow, solidifying the NHIS as a vital element in The Gambia's healthcare landscape. The health insurance scheme which will record citizen data, enables policyholders to access healthcare services, make appointments, and access medical records remotely. After the mass campaign, thousands of citizens particularly families stormed registration centers to get registered for the insurance scheme.“I don’t know much about the scheme, but I am optimistic it will ease most of the challenges we go through just to have access to health care. I have registered and am now looking forward to enjoying the benefits.” ~Bintou Sillah, citizen. According to officials, digital birth registration and health insurance membership will reduce healthcare costs for citizens. Over a million have registered, but thousands still have doubts about the scheme's viability, the health sector still has work to do to get more citizens to register amid widespread skepticism. The NHIS aims to significantly reduce waiting times and bureaucratic hurdles that have historically impeded timely access to healthcare services.“We are working with the World Bank to ensure that everything goes well, all the plans are being laid. We are yet to launch, for now all the institutions have been set up, all the mechanisms have been put in place so that it will be effective “~Dr.Mustapha Bittaye, Ministry of Health With funding from the world bank, the ministry is also tapping various means to fund the long term project. Few months ago, stakeholders from various institutions led by the Vice President and health minister assembled to discuss strategic ways to mobilise funding opportunities for the scheme. The NHIS has fortified its digital infrastructure with robust cybersecurity measures to ensure the confidentiality. Data security and privacy are paramount in this transformation, a sophisticated software is built to confirm and regulate wrong data. Scores of people registered for the digital birth and insurance scheme, but the benefit is yet to come there way and for many who are keenly anticipating its arrival, the development signals a new dawn easing access to viable and affordable healthcare services if fully implemented.
PRESS RELEASE The Ferry Service Management wishes to inform the general public that the Kunta Kinteh Ferry will be witndrawn for breakdown maintenance for at least 48 hours with effect from Tuesday, 8th August 2023.Meanwhile, Kanilai Ferry will be deployed to provide minimal service. Efforts will be made to restore Kunta Kinteh Ferry, and Management wishes to apologize to the travelling public for any inconvenience that this disruption in service may cause. GFSC MANAGEMENT
His Excellency Adama Barrow delivered the 2023 state of the nation address outlining his government’s achievements and national development plans, spurring sustainable growth and economic stability.During a marathon address before a fully packed Assembly of deputies, senior government officials and the diplomatic corps, President Barrow revealed insights into his government's plans for the coming year, outlining some major breakthroughs attained over the past years.The president said despite the challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war, the Gambia’s economy registered impressive development in all forms, with robust economic fundamentals directed at maintaining sustained levels of positive growth and price stability.Dilating on various sectors, policies and national programmes, the Gambian leader said his government is committed to supporting farmers.‘The Ministry of Agriculture has initiated The Gambia Incentive-based Risk Sharing and Agricultural Lending Facility Project to improve access to finance by de-risking lending to the agriculture sector.’‘The project will collaborate with financial institutions to avail farmers and value chain actors of the needed finance for a transformed Food System.’ He said.He underscored the defence Ministry’s development of the first ever defence policy, while highlighting focused efforts to empower women.‘The Women Enterprise Fund introduced in 2020 has benefited more than 93,000 women entrepreneurs, with D68 million disbursed to 628 Women Groups. The recovery rate during the past three years stands at 75% and 53%, respectively, for the first and second disbursements. In 2023 about 550 women groups will be reached countrywide through the same arrangement.’The president’s state of the nation address further noted the government's success in building key sectors such as education with more schools and trained teachers responding to the increasing enrolment in all levels of the education system alongside scholarship opportunities.On crime and security, The Gambian leader revealed the drastic reduction of crime in the first quarter of 2023 compared to 2021 and 2022, outlining corresponding efforts to strengthen and indigenize the judiciary and justice system.The President further highlighted major headways in energy and infrastructural development citing the numerous road constructions registered by his administration. He said NAWEC is being restructured to improve services as the government continues to subsidize fuel prices to respond to rising global fuel prices.Reacting to the president’s speech, Alhagie S. Darboe the minority leader said the president should be commended for appearing a little earlier compared to the previous year.‘The president’s address should come in the first quarter of the year so the deputies can be well informed on the issues and address them. This time it came in the second quarter, but we will keep pushing so it can be delivered in the first quarter.’Deputies are expected to deliberate on the president’s address in subsequent parliamentary sittings. Muhammed B.S Jallow the vice president will represent the president to answer questions. Cabinet ministers will also appear on separate days to take questions regarding their various ministries.During subsequent assembly deliberations, bills and motions will be presented to the legislature for enactment alongside treaties and international agreements scheduled for ratification.
PRESIDENT BARROW LEAVES FOR NIGERIA TO ATTEND TINUBU’S INAUGURATIONGambia’s President Adama Barrow on Sunday departed Banjul for Nigeria, where he is expected to attend the inauguration of Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the president-elect of Nigeria. The president was seen off on departure at the Banjul international airport by cabinet ministers, senior security, and government officials among others. The Gambian leader is expected to join several other heads of state for the inauguration of Nigeria's president-elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the Eagles Square in Abuja. During the visit, President Barrow is expected to engage in bilateral talks to further strengthen ties between Banjul and Abuja. The Gambian leader is expected to return to Banjul on Tuesday 30th May 2023.Having emerged victorious in Nigeria’s February Presidential Election, Senator Bola Tinubu of the APC party, will be sworn-in on May 29, 2023, as the president of the federal republic of Nigeria. Gambia and Nigeria share historic relations dating back to the post-independence era when the two countries established formal diplomatic relations. Since then, relations have been described as ‘excellent’ as the two countries partner in several areas of cooperation. Nigeria supports The Gambia in the areas of education, judiciary, security, and capacity building. Nigeria played a key role in ending the political impasse in the aftermath of the December 2016 Presidential elections and has since deployed a contingent to serve in peacekeeping operation in The Gambia.Over the years the two countries have worked to build a solid foundation to further entrench the existing bilateral and multilateral cooperation.
Esau Williams, a BBC News presenter, and producer completes a three-day training for the Media Academy for Journalism and Communication students in the Gambia.The BBC journalist who had over 10 years of experience with one of the world's leading media institutions, delivered lectures on key areas of journalism. This includes idea development, research, interviews, sourcing, news presentation, and production.The training brought together Diploma and Advanced Diploma students of the Academy.Sang Mendy, the Managing Director of the school who facilitated the training said, it is part of their plans to better prepare the students for better deliverables in the newsroom.'Our English teacher always emphasises that the students listen to the BBC.' 'We can inspire them, giving reference to what we do and how we did it before. But here is someone working for the BBC which is a reference for global broadcasting, will inspire them. This is the objective and also to learn from a great mind like Esau', Sang said.The BBC Focus on Africa producer and presenter said the areas he discussed with the students 'form the bedrock of any proper journalistic career.' 'The point of the training is to boost and add capacity to the work that journalists do in the Gambia.' 'We have issues with the National Journalism Awards. We don't think the quality of journalism is up to scratch. This is just an effort to improve that' he added. Adama Sanneh a Diploma student said he has learned a lot of new things that were not taught in class. 'Now I will be able to look at little things and make good news out of them.''There are a lot of things going on that we feel are not important. But going through the training and knowing you can think beyond, that will help me to become better.'Media Academy for Journalism and Communication (MAJaC), was established in 2010 by the Gambia Press Union.Its focus is to 'strengthen democracy in the Gambia through quality journalism and effective communication.'
President Adama Barrow congratulated H.E Muhamadu Buhari, his government and the people of Nigeria for a successful and peaceful election and a demonstration of leadership by example for ECOWAS. The President extended the message through the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Zubairu Dada, who is in The Gambia on a two-day visit. The Gambian President reiterated the brotherly relations with the Federal Republic of Nigeria, through which the country enjoys technical support in various sectors. President Barrow recounted the valuable role of Nigeria in The Gambia’s transition since 2017 and called for continued support as the country moves to the next phase of implementing its reform programme.In a separate diplomatic engagement Thursday morning, President Barrow met the ECOWAS Commissioner for Economic and Agricultural Affairs, Mrs Massanje Tour- Litse. The two discussed regional integration and ECOWAS’ commitment to continue supporting and working with The Gambia. President Barrow stressed that Africa has the human and natural resources and should invest in making agribusiness a priority through industrialisation to feed itself. He decried Africa, with a much bigger population, having to suffer due to the unfortunate War in Ukraine. “The way forward for Africa is prioritising Agric-business for economic development and food security,” President Barrow emphasised. He commended the ECOWAS Commissioner for prioritising agriculture, school feeding and working with the youth, adding, “we cannot continue blaming colonialism; it is time to be innovative and do things for ourselves.''
The National Assembly has recently passed the Prevention Against Torture Act, 2023. The Act seeks to prevent & eradicate the use of torture and other cruel, inhuman treatment or punishment & to ensure accountability of acts of torture.A statement from the Ministry of Justice says the passing of this Act plays a central role in our transitional justice process especially in our bid to ensure accountability for gross human rights violations under the previous government and to ensuring that these atrocities never reoccur.
Banjul United came from behind to rescue a point at home against Steve Biko with a one-all draw in week 14 of the Gambia Football Federation First Division League.Modou Lamin Touray put Biko in front after just 17 minutes when he received a defense-splitting pass from the Gambia U-20 prodigy Adama Bojang and stroke passed the rushing Banjul United goalkeeper.However, Banjul United also revert to the services of another Gambia U-20 player to level matters. In the 59th minute, central referee Ali adjudged a Biko defender for a handball, and Gambia U-20 forward Mansour Mbye fired home from the spot to make it 1 – 1.There were further chances from both ends, especially in the closing stages when Adama Bojang had a last-gasp free header saved from point-blank by Babucarr Janteh in between the frame for Banjul United.The Biko coach Adnan Musa blamed the draw on what he described as a wrong decision. 'To be honest with you, the penalty was never a penalty. You can't be in your natural position and they penalize you for that. I think Banjul United could have scored a better goal but not from the spot' he said.The Banjul United coach Sheikh Adama Joof whose side only managed four wins in 13 games, said everything is tough for now. 'We started badly with two defeats. The team is not in the shape I want, but we will try in the next few games to be there'. In the other games, Waa Banjul recorded a hard-fought 2 - 1 win over PSV Wellingara. Fortune F.C. conquered Brikama United in the West Coast Region derby with a 1 - 0 win. And, woes continue for the defending champions Hawks as they lost 3 - 0 to Team Rhino. Falcons drew goalless with Samger. Real De Banjul managed a narrow 2 - 1 win over Gamtel. Marimoo lost 2 - 0 to Wallidan and, Greater Tomorrow also lost 2 - 1 to Gambia Armed Forces.
President Adama Barrow Friday received the IMF Mission Chief, Mr Ivohasina Razafimahefa, who briefed him that The Gambia, for the first time, reached the final stage of its IMF programme on a positive note.Receiving the briefing with delight, The President said that despite the challenges in managing citizens' expectations, his office and the government, by extension, took strategic decisions to ensure fiscal discipline to manage public finances better. He emphasised that they would do everything possible to improve the country's scorecard. "At times, you take difficult decisions and do the right thing for the good of the majority," President Barrow stressed. He congratulated his economic team and thanked the IMF for the guidance and support, adding that the transition was difficult with high expectations from the citizens.The President pledged that his government would remain steadfast to maximise the social and economic scorecard for The Gambia. Acknowledging the deficit areas impacted by the outbreak of COVID-19 and the War in Ukraine, the President looks forward to more flexibility in the following programme cycle to address the areas they have deficits.The President indicated that his administration prioritises digitalisation and e-governance to increase revenue collection and reduce corruption. He referenced the digitalisation of tax collection and performance contracts with SOEs as necessary domestic revenue collection measures to fast-track development examples.President Barrow cited electricity and infrastructure as the key to the country's advancement as the government works towards its target for universal access to electricity in remote areas.The IMF Chief of Mission expressed confidence to proceed with a new country programme as it is the first time The Gambia has reached a final assessment programme. He gave an outline of the findings of his mission, stating the economic growth improved even though it had not reached the pre- covid level due to external shocks such as the post covid recovery. He pointed out the positive trends in tourism, remittance, and private and public construction works as good signs. The IMF Mission Chief noted the impact of global events on food prices and fuel, flexible exchange rates, and cross-border trade.On the challenges, it was noted that inflation is high and public debt is still flat at 80% of GDP, but it recorded that foreign reserves and credit to the private sector are on the right path, with interest rates decreasing. Appreciating the government's efforts for economic growth, Mr Razafimahefa concluded, "The Gambia can be a model of a success story."The Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, the Central Bank of The Gambia Governor, and other senior public officials accompanied the IMF Mission to the State House.