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City of Banjul
Sunday, September 24, 2023


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By Alagie Manneh 

President Barrow has declared his government’s desire to address the plight of Gambian youths, promising to create no less than 150,000 jobs in the next five years. 

Delivering his State of the Nation Address which detailed his government’s policies and activities for the legislative year, the president said a National Employment Policy and Action Plan (NEAP) 2022-2027 has been launched and that the employment ministry has established a National Employment Technical Committee.

“These demonstrate commitment at the highest level of government to address unemployment and underemployment and, by extension, poverty. The policy targets creating at least 150,000 jobs in five years,” he said.


Having emerged from the Covid-19 pandemic, the president said the healthcare system is building resilience to better serve Gambians.

“Key interventions include the rolling out of the National Health Insurance Scheme and the ongoing construction of a modern National Emergency Treatment Centre, a blood transfusion centre, a reference laboratory, and a training centre in Farato. They will have up-to-date modern equipment to handle health emergencies and advanced diagnoses. Plans are afoot to complete the master plan for a new teaching hospital in Farato.”

He also expressed his government’s commitment to providing high quality medicines of local and international standards. “To achieve this, a high-quality laboratory complex is under construction in Brusubi to test imported food and drugs for safety.”


President Barrow said his government, with support from partners, has acquired military vehicles and other specialised equipment necessary for peacekeeping undertakings and proficiency of daily military operations, “especially along the border”.

“Following the unfortunate resurgence of conflict in Casamance between the MFDC and the Senegalese Armed Forces, GAF monitors the affected areas in Foñi to guarantee the safety of all Gambian citizens. In this regard, they conduct robust patrols in the area,” he stated.


The president said the tourism sector is on the rebound. “Arrivals from our traditional markets increased, except for the 10 percent drop from Denmark. Arrivals from the non-traditional markets increased by 47 percent; that is, 10,908 tourists, compared to the same period in 2021. The sector projects 206,558 tourists this year, if all goes well.

Legal sector

President Barrow said the legal sector has plans for the adoption of a strategic plan that reflects the government’s vision.

“In addition, it has drafted the Victims Reparation Bill to create an independent body to administer reparations for victims. This will cover all victims of human rights violations, not leaving out the victims of April 10/11.”


The lands ministry, according to President Barrow, is developing a National Land Policy with support from the World Bank. He said the policy will cover land-related conflicts which have sometimes proven to be deadly in the country.

“[It will also cover land-related] conflicts, security of title, protection of the right to land, especially for women and children, and efficient land management.”

House speaker FTJ said parliamentarians will, in the coming days, reflect and debate on the president’s remarks.

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