By Omar Bah
The Prince of Wales, Prince Charles has said The Gambia is moving on the right track since overcoming the 22-year authoritarian rule under former President Yahya Jammeh.
The Prince, who ends the first leg of his tour of West Africa, was speaking yesterday at the McCarthy Square in a ceremony formally designed to officially welcome the Royals to the country. The heir apparent to the British throne said he appreciates the determination and the path the government and the Gambian people have taken towards rebuilding the country.
He added that the country and her people should realise their extraordinary potentials. “Please note that the United Kingdom and the other members of the Commonwealth stand with you all as you build your country and work to ensure that you and your children have a bright future that you all so desire,” he said.
Prince Charles added that his visit is an opportunity for both countries to celebrate their bond.
“We are friends, partners and once again we are both members of the Commonwealth family of nations, a fact which gives me as much pleasure and pride as I know it does to so many of you”.
He said he was delighted to join her mother, the Queen in welcoming President Barrow to London in April this year for the Commonwealth heads of government meeting.
“It was an important milestone on the new road that The Gambia has chosen in turning your back on 22 years of autocratic rule in order to embrace a new beginning. Today the UK and The Gambia can once again work together to defend our shared Commonwealth values and to promote democracy, human rights, tolerance and the rule of law.
“So too can we commit ourselves together to addressing with all urgency some of the most pressing challenges facing our world, such as climate change, youth unemployment and rapid urbanization, and to do so by harnessing the remarkable professional expertise and experience upon which the Commonwealth and her member states can draw”.
On his part, President Adama Barrow said the decision taken by Charles to visit The Gambia is an indication of the true love he has for the country and their readiness to support Gambia realizes its development aspirations.
“We look forward to a meaningful engagement with the Commonwealth family and structures to complement our development programs. I also want to call on the UK to whom we have very strong ties to continue supporting us through enhancing investment and other economic cooperation,” he noted.
President Barrow said his government’s decision to rejoin the Commonwealth is ample testimony of the country’s readiness to enhance international cooperation.
Meanwhile, their Royal Highnesses the Prince and his wife, Camila had earlier met President Adama Barrow at State House in Banjul, where they discussed ways to further strengthen The Gambia’s ties with the Commonwealth.
The Royals also visited the MRC, St Thereses and the Fajara War Cemetery. They will leave town this morning for Ghana.