EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: Gambia could risk suffer from losing its most fancied and committed donor if President Adama Barrow’s transition government fail to maintain its democratic and transition path.
The European Union Ambassador to the country, Attila Lajos assured President Barrow at a Monday meeting at State House that his government can count on the 28-member country Union support so long as it remains on the democratic and transition path.
The Union is one of Gambia’s biggest donors, including mobilizing international support for the tiny West African state. Last year, it led the mobilisation of $1.7 billion in Brussels by the International donors for The Gambia to meet the 2.4 billion-euro budget needed for the National Development Plan (NDP).
Ambassador Lajos and President Barrow’s Monday meeting is described as very ‘constructive’ and friendly discussion. The EU has been a strong supporter of The Gambian transition and had fulfilled various promises, which were subject of review during the meeting.
The envoy said he has no doubt that The Gambia remains committed to democracy and the transition process. The meeting accord the two leaders to review Gambia’s processes and achievements in the past two-and-a-half years as part of the transition process. Other national issues and interests to the EU-Gambia partnership agenda were also put on the table.
Last year, the Union made a 225 million Euro rescue package pledge to support President Barrow’s new government after the country was “virtually bankrupt” from the 22-year rule under exiled former president Yahya Jammeh.
Financial aid dried up under Mr. Jammeh, who had bad human rights violation records alongside his lavish expenditure of publish funds in unsustainable programmes and activities.
“The Gambia has embarked on a journey that was not known in advance how it will look like. I think successes achieved in areas such as TRRC that is to facilitate national reconciliation, the Constitutional Review to draft a new constitution, or the establishment of a National Human Rights Commission are very good examples of achievements the government and the country can be very proud of,” Mr. Lajos told the press corps.
They also discussed issues related to overall fiscal situation in the country, the budgetary discipline, the indebtedness of the country and issues of potential future bottlenecks in national development. These discussions also include what can be done individually and jointly.
“We talked in detail the reform process to be continued in the country, and especially those in the security sector. We touched on other areas of importance for both sides such as migration, which is linked to The Gambia needing all its boys and girls to build up this country,” he said, saying that these are areas of national interest and of great importance to the European Union.