By Olimatou Coker
Mambury Njie, the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs has commended the World Bank’s support to The Gambia and expressed hope that the partnership with the Bank would remain strong and of mutual benefit as they continue to work in the service of the people of The Gambia.
The minister was speaking at Fajara on the occasion of the official opening of a new office complex of the World Bank in The Gambia. Njie said the very existence of the new office is an indication of the bank’s long-term commitment to partnering with The Gambia.
Also speaking, the vice president Dr. Isatou Touray assured the World Bank of her office’s availability in the facilitation of its work in The Gambia.
She noted that the World Bank was the first development partner to step in and support the new government when it took over in 2017 with an open budget support of $56 million. “Additionally, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic the bank once again stepped in and supported with 10 million dollars which enabled us to purchase the much need ambulances and health supplies,” the vice president said.
Nathan Belete, country director of World Bank The Gambia, said he is proud to say today that they have an existing portfolio of over $325 million dollars over nine projects.
According to him, the World Bank started its membership with The Gambia in 1967 and one of their first projects in the Gambia was a port project in which they invested 2 million dollars.
He added that one of the things that make them as a World Bank country team very proud today is that they have one of the highest disbursements this last year and what that means is that there is an impact on the ground and a realisation of activities.
“Today is a very remarkable day for us at the World Bank group to be here and to officially open our first stand-alone physical office in Banjul here”.
He also said they are in the final stages of submitting their new country partnership framework with the Gambia that they have been working on for the last several months.
“I think next year alone we are hoping to do least 70 million dollars and also hoping that over the next 3 years our engagement in the Gambia could be upwards 45,000 million dollars provided that we have a strong continued collaboration with the Gambia”
Ms. Feyi Boroffice, Resident Representative of the World Bank to The Gambia said the opening of the office is timely and important.
She added that World Bank is here to stay and to partner with The Gambia to systematically help the country out of economic frigidity.