President Barrow: My government inherited the most urgent frustrations, lack of opportunities for youth

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EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, THE GAMBIA: President Adama barrow said on Tuesday that his government has inherited the most urgent and pressing issues, including frustrations and lack of opportunities for the country’s young people.

He said these frustrations have driven thousands of the country’s young people to undertake the risky journey across the Mediterranean Sea in search of a better future.  “Similarly, many of our able and distinguished sons and daughters, in the Diaspora, were forced to live in exile due to the repressive environment that prevailed, depriving the country of vital human capital and resources needed to fuel the growth for economic and social transformation of our society.

Addressing Gambians at the National Launch of The Gambia’s National Development Plan (2018-2021) at State House in Banjul, Mr. Barrow said since he came to power in December 2016, his government has undertaken many measures to address the challenges, saying among the measures, they have urgently worked to stabilise the economy, restore public confidence in Government, strengthen democratic institutions and address the energy crisis. “However, I am aware that more must be done, and urgently.”

He said it was those challenges that gave his Government the task to draw up a new National Development Plan (NDP) to provide greater clarity and focus for government action, citizens’ engagement and also for our development partners who are eager and stand ready to assist us. “The National Development Plan 2018-2021 is the result of these endeavors and series of consultations and interactions with different stakeholders.”

Mr. Barrow told Gambians that the strategic orientation and overarching framework for the plan draws upon several elements, the key ones being the Manifesto of the Coalition of the political parties that defeated the previous regime and the Government Compact agreed during a retreat of the Cabinet 5-7 May 2017.

Through its eight strategic priorities and their critical enablers, he said his government aspires not only to lay the foundations for a modern democratic state, but also to address the most pressing economic and social ills besetting our society. “The plan through its robust accountability framework, responds to my concern to ensure a strong focus on results, strong monitoring and evaluation processes, as well as strengthened engagement between my government and the country’s citizens, including those in the Diaspora.”

PHOTO: At The Launching of the National Development Plan 2018-2021 (L) Gambia’s VP Fatoumata Jallow Tambajang, (M)President Adama Barrow (R) Gambia’s Speaker of The National Assembly Mariam Jack Denton

The new Plan overall target is to deliver good governance and accountability, social cohesion and national reconciliation, and to revitalise and transform the economy for the wellbeing of all Gambians. It also targets to transform The Gambia into a country where All citizens enjoy the benefits of the highest standards of governance, are equal before the law, and freedom of expression is fully guaranteed; the government is fully accountable to its citizens and the constitutional provision on separation of powers is fully respected and there is social cohesion and harmony among communities.

“To successfully achieve this challenging but desirable vision, there is need for strengthened cooperation among all stakeholders. On this basis, the plan has adopted an integrated multi-sectoral approach through promotion of inter and intra sectoral cooperation in the implementation of programmes. The plan, therefore, seeks to bring about inclusive development, without leaving anyone behind, in line with the principles of Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.”

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