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Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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French Diplomat meets UDP leader Darboe

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By Omar Bah

The Head of the French Diplomatic Mission in The Gambia, Ambassador Jean-Charles ALLARD, Wednesday paid a courtesy call on opposition United Democratic Party leader Ousainu Darboe at his Kairaba Avenue office.

Ambassador ALLARD was warmly received by Mr Darboe, assisted by Lamin Manneh, UDP Deputy Secretary for External Affairs and the Diaspora.

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The diplomat and his host, Mr Darboe, discussed a wide range of issues, spanning the economic and socio-political spectrum of the country.

They discussed the debt situation of the country, difficulties in the agricultural sector, the ongoing or planned alienation of public-sector institutions such as Gamtel-Gamcel, port infrastructure, ferry services etc.

Regarding the agricultural sector, H.E. Allard indicated the interest of French research and business entities to work with Gambian scientist and to invest in the country, respectively. He informed his host that the French agricultural research outfit, CIRAD, will be holding scientific meetings in Senegal next month and plans are underway to invite Gambian scientists to participate in the workshops.The two parties underscored The Gambia’s huge potential in the sector, which should be tapped for the country’s food security and for job creation.

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They also touched on the possibilty of The Gambia drawing on the expertise of French business operators, such as Bolloré, in the port sector and certain other infrastructure sectors.

Likewise, they discussed the draft Constitution and the need to have it adopted before the end of this year to avoid the subsequent referendum process sliding into the 2026 presidential elections campaign.

The private-member bill on FGM, currently being examined in the National Assembly, was also discussed.

After well over an hour of open and cordial discussions, which saw convergence of views in virtually all the areas, the French Diplomat took leave of his host. In parting, H.E. Allard and H.E. Darboe agreed to meet often to exchange ideas on areas of common interest.

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