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Saturday, September 24, 2022

The 1.45 billion Euro pledge

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Given that The Gambia recently came out of a twenty-two-year dictatorship characterised by economic mismanagement and malfeasance, it was no surprise to learn that the country is highly indebted and that the debt is at an all-time 130 percent of the GDP.

When in December 2016 Gambians went to the polls and voted out the former president and ushered in a new democratically elected government, the International Community vowed to support and stand by the country to ensure that it restores its economic status and dignity.

Since then, a lot of support has been realised from the donors particularly the European Union. This support came in the form of funding of important programmes of government, providing technical expertise and training.

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The country has certainly enjoyed a lot of goodwill in the past year or so. But it is rather unfortunate that all that support has not been felt or realised by the ordinary person. It seems that the current government does not have the ability to filter these funds to impact on the lives of citizens.

Now the news that the international community has pledged 1.45 billion Euros to the Gambia in the next three years is welcome. However, it also places a burden on the government and the civil society to ensure that the money is spent on its intended purpose.

Government should endeavor to see that the funds are spent in the right places to benefit the people of the Gambia. The civil society organisations must follow the money to ensure that there is transparency and accountability as it is meant to fund primarily the National Development Plan.

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