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City of Banjul
Sunday, March 3, 2024

CLOB project celebrates 20th anniversary

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By Olimatou Coker

The City Link Osten Banjul Project (CLOB) recently celebrated the 20th-anniversary of a longstanding partnership between the city of Banjul and the city of Ostend in Belgium. The celebration coincided with the visit of the mayor of Ostend held at BCC new office complex.

Bart Tommelein, mayor of Ostend, said it is indeed quite unique for two cities to have a relationship that goes back such a long time.

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“Twenty years during which schools in Banjul and Ostend have exchanged with each other and fostered meaningful relationships between students. Twenty years during which the two administrations worked together and where exchange visits took place in both directions. Twenty years during which a genuine relationship was developed between the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital and Higher Education institutions in Ostend. Twenty years during which we developed mutual trust and understanding in each other And of course during the last years, the relationship became much more intense as Ostend City Council supported the Banjul City Council with the implementation of the EU project.”

He added that the  3 million euro or close to 200 million Dalasi is something which they hope has created a meaningful change in the city and created opportunities for BCC staff and Banjulians.

“We are very eager and curious to see the progress of the EU project since our last visit.”

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Mayor Tommelein said he is also looking forward to discussions with his counterpart, the Mayor, the Deputy Mayor and BCC management on the long term management of the EU project. This,  he  emphasized, is really a huge priority of his visit this time.

“All too often, projects and investment in this field have suffered from neglect after the funds phased out. This is something we need to avoid. We need to plan together to make sure that all investments are looked after. Without sustainability, all our efforts would have been in vain,” he added.

Rohey Malick Lowe, the mayor of Banjul, said this partnership has brought development to the doorsteps of Banjullians and  to the EFSTH, especially at the burn unit at the hospital.

“This partnership has helped Banjullians a lot, everybody has seen what is going on at Crab Island school. It has transformed  totally that anyone who witnessed or who has been to that school will come back to us and say bravo and indeed we are so proud,” she explained.

According to her, 23 classrooms, a recording studio, a radio FM, a garden,  the greening of the inner city and the coconut were not easy tasks which commitment.

“When Crab Island is done and dusted, I can tell you that every year we can graduate over 200 students. This is for the youths and we are happy that it is right here in the capital city”.

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