The President, His Excellency, Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya AJJ Jammeh and delegation arrived at Doha Interntional Airport Monday morning for a state visit to the Middle-Eastern state. The president and delegation were received at the airport by the Qatari Minister of Transport, Jasim Bin Saif Al-Sultatti alongside the Gambian ambassador to Qatar Ansumana Jammeh. The Gambian leader Tuesday morning held private discussions with the emir of Qatar His Excellency Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani at the grand palace in Doha. Officials of the two countries also signed agreements on aviation and trade. The emir also hosted lunch in honour of the president and his delegation.
Earlier on Monday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Balla Garba Jahumpa and the director general of Gambia Radio and Television Services Alhaji Lamin Manga headed a powerful delegation for an official visit to the headquarters of Al Jazeera International, the home of Al Jazeera Television networks. Officials held lengthy discussions with the management of Al Jazeera led by the director general Ahmed Bin Jassim Al-Thani, a member of the ruling family. The Ministers of Foreign Affairs and that of Trade, Balla Garba Jahumpa and Abdou Jobe both described the visit to Al Jazeera and the discussions with the management of the highly acclaimed television channel as crucial and important in building lasting relations between Al Jazeera and GRTS and by extension the two countries. The director general of GRTS described the visit as “historic” while outlining some of the areas of cooperation that the two institutions can explore in improving relations. One main topic that featured in Mr Manga’s statement was the urgent need for training opportunities for Gambians.
In an interview with GRTS, director Ahmed Bin Jassim Al-Thani noted with delight the level of commitment shown by the leadership in mapping out strategies meant to strenghtening relations between the countries. He spoke of his institution’s desire to make available the Al Jazeera Media Training Centre to those who intend to improve their capacities. The centre he added is anchored on helping develop a highly professional media in the third world, and The Gambia he added will benefit from this offer. Alongside government officials, the president’s delegation includes members of the business community among them the CEO of the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry and other business executives. The Gambian business community held meetings with their Qatari counterpart. Discussions centred on ways of improving trade ties between the two parties.
The secretary general and head of the civil service and also Minister Responsible for Presidential Affairs, Dr Kalilou Bay, headed a high-powered delegation which included the ministers of Finance and Economic Affairs, and that of Trade and as well as top business executives held series of discussions with members of the Qatari Chamber of Commece and Industry and top investors at the foyer of Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Doha. Secretary General Bayo told the Qatari business community that there are numerous business opportunities open to them. “Come and explore the conducive business environment that The Gambia offers,” he added. The ministers of Trade and Finance Abdou Jobe and Kebba Touray highlighted the need for the two countries to explore the diverse opportunities particularly in the areas of commerce, agriculture and tourism. Prominent entrepreneurs such as Edrissa Jobe, Ndey Awa Khan-Ceesay as well as the CEO of the Gambia Chamber of Commerce Alieu Secka all painted a rosy picture about The Gambia’s robust and highly lucrative business environment. The meeting between the two delegations brought about some early signs of development as the deputy president of Qatari Chamber of Commerce Abdel Aziz Abdel Rahman El Imadi said, a team of Qatari investors will pay a visit to Banjul.
Early Wednesday morning, it was the turn of the foreign ministers of the two countries Khalid Bin Muhhamad Al Attiyah and his Gambian counterpart Bala Garba Jahumpa to sit down for a closed door meeting at the Foreign Ministry headquarters in Doha.
The president and the Gambian delegation to Qatar returned to Banjul yesterday.]]>