By Tabora Bojang
The Government of the Gambia through the finance ministry with support from the UN system yesterday held a donors meeting on the national development plan of The Gambia 2018-2021.
The meeting was meant to articulate the key development priorities of the new Government to effectively manage its resources and strengthen policy coherence amongst the various sectors of the economy.
The Gambia government and its international partners initiated the process of formulating the National Development Plan reflecting the current realities of the country as a medium term development strategy for 2018- 21 and also to be a successor to the Programme for Accelerated Growth and Employment (PAGE) which came to an end in 2015.
“As you all know the NDP is the vehicle through which we seek to define the strategies and actions to pursue to address the host of economic and social challenges that we have inherited after 22 years of poor political and economic governance under the last regime,” Finance Minister Amadou Sanneh said.
According to him, the National development plan will set the template to guide the new Government as they seek to deliver on their promise of good governance, accountability, a revitalised and transformed economy to the Gambians.
He said the NDP has identified eight strategic priority areas the government proposes to focus on to deliver its key goals over the next five years which ranges from governance, human rights, infrastructure and energy, human capital, macro-economic stabilization and management, and modernized agriculture among others.
“Today’s meeting will give us an opportunity to brief you in detail on these transformative strategic priority areas and the investment programmes and the enabling policies and measures we have identified and developed to spur growth, reduce poverty, inequality, gender and enhance youth employment and help consolidate the democratic transition and gains,” Sanneh added.
The UN resident coordinator and the UNDP representative in the Gambia, Ms. Ade Mamonyane Lekotje said the National Development Plan will set the direction for national development and provides a historic opportunity for the Gambia and its development partners to work together in forging a path towards sustainability.
Madam Lekotje pledged her organisation’s commitment to help in resource mobilization with the Gambia government to deliver good governance and accountability, social cohesion, national reconciliation, and a Revitalised and transformed economy for the wellbeing of all Gambians.
She congratulated the Gambia government particularly the ministry of finance for its concerted efforts in achieving the significant milestone in the national development planning process.
For his part the European Union (EU) Ambassador to the Gambia, Mr. Attila Lajos said the EU as the Gambia’s main donor, is supporting Gambian youths with an 11-million Euro project expected to create jobs and help in quashing irregular migration.
Mr. Lajos promised that the EU will triple this by the end of the year to deal with youth migration and other youth priority areas to help in the new government achieve its developmental goals.