President Adama Barrow has expressed gratitude to the outgoing IMF Country Representative, Mamadou Juldeh Barry, who came to bid him farewell Friday afternoon at the State House in Banjul for supporting the economic transformation of the country for the past years of his tour of duty in The Gambia.
Barrow said t through Mr Barry and the institution’s guidance and support, the Gambia completed an IMF program cycle for the first time in the country’s history, despite the challenges of Covid-19 and the ongoing war in Ukraine.
The President assured of his government’s commitment to improving on the gains and looking forward to another program cycle. He cited the Ports expansion as a key priority for the government to increase revenue growth and FX reserves.
Speaking earlier, the IMF rep thanked President Barrow for opening his doors to the institution and attaching great importance to the partnership, which resulted in steady economic growth. He said that when he arrived four years ago, the Gambia had no program and worked on a three years program worth two hundred and eleven million dollars ($211m) completed in June 2023.
”That was only possible because of the leadership and commitment of the President to reform,” Barry noted
He also reiterated the IMF’s commitment to working with the President’s economic team on the request to continue the same engagement as the past three years, expressing optimism that finance minister and the Central Bank Governor will take the necessary steps to make the negotiation smooth.
Mr Barry said he is leaving the Gambia with gratitude and fond memories of the hospitality accorded to him by Gambians.
The Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Hon. Seedy Keita, said the IMF has tremendously contributed to the country’s economic reform leading to revenue growth of D1.5 billion monthly. He added that the economic expansion and management ushered in developments like Bertil Harding Highway, Hakalang and Kiang roads.
He said all these could not have been achieved without the support and leadership of President Barrow.