EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, THE GAMBIA: European Union (EU) has announced its approval of a staggering 140 million Euros in grant to The Gambia to support the country’s National Development Plan (NDP) at a donor conference organised by the EU for The Gambia in Brussels.
President Adama Barrow arrived in Brussels on Tuesday to attend the conference. He inherited Yahya Jammeh in December 2016 in the country’s presidential election ending Mr. Jammeh’s 22-year ruled of the tiny West African state with less than 2 million people.
Former President Jammeh’s government is accused of corruption and human right violation including killings and torture.
Federica MOGHERINI, high representative of the European Union for foreign affairs and security policy said they are committed to help Gambia to improve market environment and infrastructure as set-up in the NDP. “We want to accompany you in this work to make sure that benefits of democracy reach all the people of The Gambia and turn into something very great.”
She said Gambians have never given up even when the situation seems desperate and change seems impossible. “The Gambia has re-joined in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court which is another demonstration to end violence and killings.”
Madam MOGHERINI said truly democratic Gambia needs strong and effective institutional and be proud of the work. “The new Gambia can and must be a place where every citizen can stay feel at home and can be an inclusive country.”
President Barrow described the day as important to The Gambia, saying “we have a story to tell. We contested election on the principles of democracy and to build a strong foundation and we will live up to that.”
He said approval grant demonstrates the country’s movement from autocrat to democracy.
Mr. Barrow said Gambians decided to take back their country with strong courage and determination and dignity after years of abuse of power and disrespect for the fundamental human rights. “This opened a new chapter based on the foundation of good governance and respect for democracy.”
According to him, frustration and lack of opportunities for the country’s young people have forced them to take the irregular migration through high seas with tragic consequences. “Many of our abled and imminent sons and daughters were also compelled to live in exile by repressive laws.”