Relations between EU and Gambia had strained last year when the EU, in a 17-point proposal, urged The Gambia to carry out media and political reforms, triggering anti-EU demonstrations in the country and suspension of EU-Gambia government political dialogue.
In the 2013 annual report of The Gambia-EU Cooperation, the EU charge d’affairs, Mme Guilaud said: “The year 2013 has been a challenging yet very successful in our cooperation with the launching of various projects and programmes such as: the EU millennium development goal initiative project for Gambia which intends to provide support to fight food insecurity through improved agricultural production and school feeding programme; the global climate change alliance, GCCA, addressing coastal erosion; as well as the completion of 27km of main roads by December 31, 2013.”
She announced that an additional 10 million Euros has been committed for the improvement of the feeder roads to allow better access to markets, schools and health centre for the most vulnerable leaving in rural areas.
“The governance programme focusing mainly on access to justice, the media and public finance management has started… Our partnership is based on fundamental principles of equality, ownership of development strategies of government, dialogue and respect of mutual commitments, continues to evolve along two complementary pillars of our cooperation in the development and political domains.”
Mr Abdoulie Jallow, permanent secretary, ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, and the national authorizing officer of the European Development Fund in The Gambia in report said: “The EU-Gambia partnership has been vibrant as the project activities, events and development in the overall cooperation can testify. It is a matter of great satisfaction that the Gambia-EU political dialogue resumes in 2013; therefore the Gambia regards its development cooperation with the EU as a form of global structural policy anchored on the principles of ownership of development priorities and Paris declaration of aid effectiveness (2005). The common aim of our cooperation today is primarily to contribute to the achievements of the millennium development goals and poverty eradication.”
He expressed appreciation to EU for its continuous support to the Gambia, adding: “The Gambia remains grateful to having the EU as one of its leading development partners. I am sure that the cooperation will improve as we strive in meeting the ideals and objectives as reflected in the ACP-Cotonou partnership agreement.”
The 2013 report was released in March 2014 and covered key areas like EU-The Gambia political, trade relations, development cooperation, agriculture and rural development, environment and climate change, governance, institutional capacity building, improving aid effectiveness as well as member states cooperation.”
By Sainey Marenah]]>