COVID-19 LIKELY TO DOMINATE PRESIDENT’S ADDRESS

Gambia’s President Adama Barrow is expected to appear at the National Assembly for the state of the nation address on Thursday.

He is expected to outline his government’s policy and programmes for the coming year.

He is also expected to state how COVID-19 negatively impacted almost all sectors of the country and the steps taken by his government in combating coronavirus.

The Gambian leader is also expected to inform Gambians about his government’s post covid-19 plan.

Gambia’s Finance Minister told lawmakers in March that the country could lose an estimated 1 billion dalasi in revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He said the decline in economic growth is estimated to emanate from trade, remittances, construction, hotels and restaurants.

If the pandemic continues to the end of 2020, the Gambia’s GDP could fall into a recession, contracting by 3.1 percent, according to the African Economic Outlook.

The report also indicated that tourism will be the hardest hit, with arrivals set to decline by 28% from 2019, for a loss of $110 million in revenues and 20,000 jobs.

Meanwhile, the Gambia government announced plans to reopen the tourism industry next month for the 2020/2021 season with measures to contain the spread of coronavirus.

 

Thursday’s speech will be President Barrow’s fourth state of the nation address since he took office in 2017.

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