By Omar Bah
President Adama Barrow yesterday presided over the launch of the National Development Plan, NDP. 2018 – 2021.
In his statement, President Barrow said the NDP is designed to provide greater clarity and focus for government action, citizens’ engagement and also for the development partners who are eager and stand ready to assist Gambia.
The NDP, he added, signifies his government’s commitment to implement projects and programs that will contribute to transforming the country to a more progressive, vibrant and all-inclusive society.
President Barrow said the goals of the National Development Plan are to deliver good governance and accountability, social cohesion and national reconciliation, “It also aims to revitalize and transform the economy for the wellbeing of all Gambians.”
“This goal is anchored on the national vision that aims to transform The Gambia into a country where: All citizens enjoy the benefits of the highest standards of governance, are equal before the law, and freedom of expression is fully guaranteed; The government is fully accountable to its citizens and the constitutional provision on separation of powers is fully respected; There is social cohesion and harmony among communities,” he said.
He continued: “The NDP will ensure that all citizens enjoy a high standard of living and access to health, education, food, quality basic services and housing is guaranteed to allow citizens to lead decent and dignified lives; Women and youth realize their full potential; a caring and nurturing environment exists for children, persons with disability and the elderly.”
The plan, he added, is accompanied by a financing strategy that clearly articulates the financing arrangements for the effective implementation.
“Given our current economic challenges, Government will embark on a vigorous sensitization campaign of all stakeholders to mobilize the required resources. The objective of these sensitization campaigns is to popularize the NDP by enhancing the knowledge and understanding of stakeholders and strengthen ownership for successful implementation,” he added.
“The strategic orientation and the overarching framework for the plan draws upon several elements, the key ones being the Manifesto of the Coalition of the political parties that defeated the previous regime and the Government Compact agreed during a retreat of the Cabinet 5-7 May 2017,” he explained.
He said through its eight strategic priorities and their critical enablers, government aspires not only to lay the foundations for a modern democratic state, but also to address the most pressing economic and social ills besetting society.
“The plan through its robust accountability framework, responds to my concern to ensure a strong focus on results, strong monitoring and evaluation processes, as well as strengthened engagement between my government and the country’s citizens, including those in the Diaspora,” he stated.
The plan formulation, Barrow added, adopted all-inclusive participatory processes with Thematic Working Groups drawn from government, civil society organisations, the private sector and development partners.
“Successful implementation of the NDP will ensure achievement of Government’s medium term development aspirations. It will also contribute to realisation of our global and regional commitments such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and African Union (AU) Agenda 2063,” he concluded.