State House, 26th October 2018 – His Excellency, President Adama Barrow has told the United Nations that since Gambians voted for change in 2016 by bringing him into office, his government has been working hard to deliver a fully transformed Gambia that is energy secured, food self-sufficient and investment friendly. “In all, our goal is to deliver a fully transformed Gambia that has a future,” he told the world body.
The President and delegation traveled to New York, US, last week to participate in the 73rd Ordinary Session of the United Nations General Assembly – a body that rendered full support when the country called for the global assistance in response to a political impasse that nearly put the country on a collision course with violent conflict about two years ago. Today, the President stood before them to express delight that Gambians have managed to restore democracy and the rule of law in their country.
He opined that a key reason Gambians voted for change in December 2016 was that they actually yearned to be in charge of their own destiny. “They wanted significant, not cosmetic improvements in their lives. It is for this reason that my government is now implementing a comprehensive National Development Plan (2018-2021). The Plan seeks to transform The Gambia through key priorities, such as infrastructural development, agricultural transformation, macroeconomic stability, job creation, and employment,” he told the UN body in his contribution to the general debate.
The National Development Plan, which is the country’s development blueprint, was designed to consolidate democratic gains through good governance, rule of law and respect for human and people’s rights. President Barrow said his government is resolutely pursuing institutional and constitutional reforms with the hope of putting The Gambia on a solid path to becoming a shining champion of democracy and human rights in the world.
Under two years in office, the President reported that his government has begun exploiting and harnessing the benefits of Information Communication Technology as a catalyst for modernization and youth empowerment.
The President also used the opportunity to highlight the value that his government placed on the Gambian Diaspora and how they fit into his development agenda. “In our pursuit for a fully transformed Gambia, we recognize the importance of a meaningful engagement with The Gambian Diaspora – fondly referred to as ‘The Eighth Region of The Gambia’. Our Diaspora strategy seeks to explore and utilize the skills, talent, and resources of Gambians everywhere for the successful implementation of the National Development Plan,” he said, noting that the Plan is consistent with the Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development, as well as the African Union Agenda 2063.
While pointing out that The Gambian experience demonstrates that democracy yields positive dividends, the president called for strong international support to consolidate the remarkable gains, particularly to curb migration and create more job opportunities.
‘’Remarkably, we have noticed a decrease in the number of youths attempting to undertake dangerous journeys across the Mediterranean to Europe. The average Gambian is willing to stay in the country and contribute to national development. Despite these positive developments, I strongly urge that interventions to curb youth migration be supported through incentives. Better educational and job opportunities must be harnessed for the youth in order to inspire them and give them hope in life’’.
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