By Aji Fatou Faal
The Government of the People’s Republic of China Monday afternoon bequeathed the National Assembly of the Gambia with office equipment and supplies worth about 14 million dalasis. The items given were 90 laptops, 70 printers, 10 microphones, 20 main duplicators, 140 drum unit for printer, 1050 toners for photocopy, 20 paper feed unit photocopier, 20 duplex unit for photocopier, 20 automatic doc feeder and 90 mouses and bags.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony, H.E Ambassador Zhang Jiming said that it is an honour for him on behalf of the Government of People’s Republic of China to hand over the office equipment and supplies to the National Assembly. He revealed that this gesture of good will is intended in a humble way to help alleviate some of the hardware constraints and facilitate the work for all members and staff of the National Assembly.
According to him, the donation is one of the immediate outcomes of the successful official visit to China by the Speaker, Hon. Mariam Jack-Denton and her delegation last September, and reflective of the ever developing and strengthening friendly relations between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of The Gambia.
“Your visit to China last year was one of significance and real results. The legislative bodies of our two countries were reconnected after an interruption of more than two decades. The ensuing expeditious establishment of inter-parliamentary bilateral friendship groups in the National Assembly of the Gambia and the National People’s Congress of China demonstrates how much importance the two sides attach to this relationship and how high the expectation is for the inter-parliamentary links”, he stated.
For her part, Hon. Mariam Jack-Denton, Speaker of the National Assembly expressed gratitude to H.E Ambassador Zhang Jiming extraordinary of the People’s Republic of China to the Gambia in yet another show of the People’s Republic of China and the Gambia’s deepened relations.
She narrated that it all began on Tuesday 20 June 2017 when Ambassador Zhang called on her office, adding that the intent was to promote and strengthen bilateral relations between the government and the people of the Gambia, and the People’s Republic of China, as well as strengthening and promoting friendly relationship and ties between the two respective national legislative bodies.
According to her, after series of follow up meetings, Ambassador Zhang Jiming extended an invitation from the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China, to the Speaker to visit China with a delegation of 7 with modalities to be worked out in line with foreign policy guidelines.
Hon. Jack-Denton stated that it further resulted into the formation of an Inter-parliamentary friendship group between National Assembly and National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China, which was tabled and adopted before the National Assembly of the Gambia on Wednesday 4th October 2017.
She lamented that the National Assembly as an institution is deeply touched and moved by these gestures and prayed the relationship continue to grow from strength and extend to other areas like capacity building of both members and staff and also exchange of visit between their two institutions.
“I cannot conclude without thanking H.E Ambassador Zhang and his team profusely for their tireless effort leading this day”, she said.