Ms Guillaud, who is coming to the end of her four-year stay in the country made this remark on Saturday at her residence in Fajara, where senior government officials, NGO community, business people and the media gathered for Victory of Europe Day, VE Day, celebration.
She said: “The European Union’s relationship with The Gambia goes back to 1976 and encompasses both development cooperation and dialogue. Our partnership aims at contributing to reduce poverty and improve the standards of living of the people of The Gambia. The achievements made since we celebrated Europe Day exactly one year ago are tangible.
“We have taken important initiatives to support women’s rights and to strengthen empowerment of Gambian women; we have inaugurated infrastructure projects funded through our development cooperation easing access from the East to the West of the country, as well as to neighbouring countries, and not least increasing road safety. We have continued to fight against food insecurity through improved agricultural production and the school feeding programme. We are providing support for a better access to justice for Gambian citizens and we are contributing to an improved capacity for Gambians to adopt climate variability and change.”
Ms Guillaud said 2015 will be her final year in the country, which has made her reflect on the past four years she spent in this “beautiful country.”
She said: “First I must say how much I appreciated the relationship with our many Gambian and international partners and of course the many wonderful Gambian people I have met since I arrived in 2011. Over the years, I have worked with extremely hard-working people both from the private and the public sector; I have met some amazing women. All of you are going to stay in my memory and in my heart. You do an outstanding job and I truly admire your work, courage and dedication.
“It has been my mission to provide support to the government, as well as to NGOs in order to better the living conditions of Gambians in the broadest sense. I am confident the work of the EU and its partners makes a difference to many Gambians in need. However, there are still many interesting and demanding challenges ahead of us.
“I have travelled a lot on this continent. Indeed, I spent half of my life in Africa, from when I was born in Morocco to my stay in The Gambia, which is my last work posting. And I loved it from North to South and East to West; from the desert of Niger and Mali to the tropical weather of Togo and Cote d’Ivoire. I will miss this beautiful continent and even more, its people, so varied, so generous and so welcoming despite the difficult times they often live.”]]>