Senior European Union officials yesterday announced at a media breakfast meeting that the massive involvement of the Union in Gambia’s development efforts in 2017 alone is a marked difference from the previous year.
Despite the fact that the EU funded most road projects in the Gambia, relations between the Union and the Gambia have been frosty mainly because of disagreement over human rights issues, which also means the country missed out on huge support from the EU.
Since the change of government however, the President of the Gambia Adama Barrow visited Brussels, becoming the first Gambian leader to be hosted at that level by the EU.
The body also pumped billion dalasi into The Gambia for budget support and other projects ranging from food security agriculture, rural development, job creation among others.
“These are not charities; these are investments in the country’s future. I often don’t see the amount of dollars named but the amount of people who will benefit from the projects,” said Stefano Manservisi, Director-General
International Cooperation and Development.
He further announced another aid which will finance the provision of energy electricity to most Gambian schools as well as the Trans-Gambia bridge project.
“We believe in the new Gambia; a Gambia that is in peace with itself and contributes to the stability of the region; a Gambia that offers a real future to all its sons and daughters and lives up to their hopes and expectations,’ he added.
Attila Lajos, the EU Ambassador to the Gambia said 2017 has so far proved the most interesting times in the EU Gambia relations.
“It’s not anything compared to the last year,” he told journalists over breakfast.
Lajos announced that the coming months will see even greater EU involvement. “There is a strong plan to hold a donor’s conference on Gambia sometime this year or the next. This will be an opportunity to attract other donors to the country’s development efforts. And of course you know that the new government will also be marking a year in office early next year,” he said.