By Omar Bah
As Gambia marked its 53rd year independence anniversary, President Adama Barrow has called on Gambians to embrace unity and maintain peace in the country.
“We should continue to nurture the spirit of unity to build the New Gambia that we want and deserve,” the Gambian leader said on Sunday while addressing a big crowd that gathered at McCarthy Square to celebrate the country’s 53rd independence anniversary.
“Peace is priceless, that is why my government will tirelessly work towards safeguarding this peace to be able to set our development agenda on the right path,” he added.
President Barrow said: “We can only continue to enjoy a peaceful atmosphere if we embrace our diversity, and as citizens selflessly contribute to making The Gambia the best it can be. We will always have our differences but we must learn to respect those differences. There is no one correct perspective but let us remember that despite our political, ethnic, economic, gender difference, we have one thing in common –we have one Gambia and we are all Gambians.”
“We can only impact positive change in our institutions and society if we realise that the ultimate responsibility to bring effective systems in place lies with all of us, state and non-state actors. We all have specific responsibilities that we cannot neglect,” he stated.
The Gambian leader also reaffirmed his government’s commitment to turn the country into a new economic development hub in an effort o increase the inflow of foreign investment in the country.
“The Gambia is open for business and we have taken steps to facilitate trade and provide incentives for investment in the country,” he said.
Gambia is gradually recovering from a two-decade long economic lethargy, which had turned many investors away.
“We have formulated several policies to enhance our trade relations and to better integrate The Gambia in to the multilateral trading system,” he added.
He further disclosed that the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) has been ratified by his government with a view to boost the economy through stimulus.
“The Gambia was successfully reinstated into the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) which provides duty free market access to the United States,” President said.
Read Barrow’s full statement on page 5.