By Omar Bah
First Lady Famatoutta Bah -Barrow has urged African leaders to rethink about the continent’s priorities and strategies in order to achieve the collective objective of Africa’s development.
Madame Barrow was addressing the Warwick Africa Summit hosted in the United Kingdom.
“We need to rethink our priorities and strategies, in an innovative manner to ensure that we reach our collective goal for Africa’s development in a practical manner. African governments have to tackle this issue head on by working together with their development partners to ensure good governance, financial prudency in government, rule of law and education of our vast youthful population that can be our engine of growth,” she said.
She added that youths are the backbone of any society, therefore, “we have to transition from being the mining fields of the world to the trading centre that we were centuries ago.”
Madame Fatoumatta Barrow further noted that government’s partnering with the private sector to create employment through beneficiation ventures is “far more beneficial as opposed to the previous system of exporting raw materials unprocessed and undervalued.”
She said young entrepreneurs, including women, should be supported in these ventures.
“These are the methods that we need to fight against poverty and transform our continent,” she stated.
“It gives me great pleasure to join you at the occasion of the Warwick Africa Summit 2023 which focuses on the development of Africa. I would like to congratulate and thank members of the Warwick Africa Summit for organising such an interactive and educative forum. I believe you have provided the right platform to share experiences and encourage one another. Your efforts in recognising the need for dialogue in an all-inclusive approach for Africa’s development is commendable and a good start in addressing our needs,” she added.
Madame Bah-Barrow said the greatest lesson she has learnt over the past few years is the importance of human dignity.
“For a few years now, I have dedicated my role as the voice of the under privileged and the marginalised groups of society. For this reason, I am very pleased to deliver this keynote speech in the presence of young men and women from all over the world who will become our future leaders. As the First Lady of the Republic of The Gambia, I instantly became engaged in various humanitarian/charitable organizations, medical treatment camps and other activities targeted at the most vulnerable groups of society, including women, children, the differently abled and various communities in need,” she added.