President Adama Barrow on Friday received the UN Resident Coordinator in The Gambia, Ms Ade Mamonyane Lekoetje at his office in Banjul. The courtesy call was to bid farewell to the President as she ends her five year term as the head of the UN System in the country.
In an interview with the State House media corps, Madam Lekoetje advanced some of her observations about the emerging democracy in the country and expressed optimism that the prospects of the new democracy in The Gambia are good. She added that she would urge Gambians to be steadfast in nation building. “A nation is built by its people: Gambians have to work together to make sure that the peace that we have initiated is nurtured. We must ensure that it is sustained and stays with us forever. Peace is not easy to build and once we build it, it must be nurtured in order for it not to disintegrate,” she emphasised.
Urging Gambians to take leadership and responsibility for the development of the country, the outgoing UN Representative applauded the strong partnership that has been built between the United Nations and The Gambia. Madam Lekoetje asserted that they have together succeeded in organising landmark elections in the country, including holding the national assembly and local government elections, which went peacefully. She elaborated on other areas of achievements including the development of a blueprint: the National Development Plan (NDP 2018-2021), which was endorsed by The Gambia’s development partners. Madam Lekoetje said the UN and The Gambia government are currently working together to ensure that the pledges made by the partners are realised. She explained that her successor and the other UN members would continue the partnership.
While praying for guidance and blessings for President Barrow, the UN representative concluded that she was hopeful that under his leadership, Gambians would be the driving wheel for peace and development. Madam Lekoetje said she would carry fond memories of the peaceful nature of Gambians and the smiles on Gambian faces.