THE GAMBIA & INDIA RELATIONS
President of India,
His Excellency Ram Nath Kovind
visit to The Gambia
30th July to 1st August 2019
THE GAMBIA & INDIA RELATIONS
Prior to the establishment of a resident diplomatic mission in New Delhi in February 2009,
The Gambia and India bilateral relations have always been cordial with cooperation in the
Non - Aligned Movement, United Nations, and the Commonwealth. The Gambia - India
relations has remained positive over the years and has increased tremendously. The
Government of The Gambia continues to support India especially at the multilateral level and
vice versa in the priority areas such as education, health, energy, agriculture, and infrastructure.
The Government of The Gambia has supported the Government of India at the United
Nations on several occasion, and in recent times namely to re-elect Judge Dr Dalveer Bhandari
to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), as well as re-election to the Council of the
International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in Region ‘E’. Support is currently being
sought and rendered in other multilateral l agency elections.
The President’s Office through MoFA, IC, & GA also supports India and the rest of the world
in the fight against terrorism.
In the area of capacity building, the Government of India (GoI) continues to provide
scholarship opportunities to deserving Gambian students for higher education and short- term
capacity building initiatives in various fields through the Indian Council for Cultural
Relations (ICCR), Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Programme, India–
Africa Forum Summit (IAFS), International Solar Alliance (ISA), amongst others.
The High Commissioner since her arrival has visited several universities to initiate
collaborations for the Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology
(MoHERST) of The Gambia and its line institutions in the areas of scholarships, research
partnerships, lecturer /students exchange etc. Several Memoranda of Understanding are in
the pipeline for signing with Indian institutions of higher learning for greater collaboration.
Furthermore, some prominent universities have offered scholarships to Gambian students
which the High Commission has processed.
In July 2018, twenty-one (21) Gambian Foreign Service Officers attended the First Special
Course for Gambian Diplomats which was fully funded by the Foreign Service Institute (FSI),
Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi. An MoU was signed between FSI and the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation, and Gambians Abroad (MOFA) during the
visit of Hon’ble Tangara in March 2019.
In June this year, the first specialised training programme was successfully conducted for
twenty-five (25) Gambian civil servants at the level of Permanent Secretary and Deputy
Permanent Secretary fully sponsored by the Indian Government under the ITEC scheme.
The High Commission continues to liaise with the Ministry of Health in The Gambia and
hospitals in India (BLK Super Specialty, Medanta, Fortis, Eye 7 etc.) for the medical treatment
of patients sent by the Gambia Government, as well as private patients.
In November 2018 the High Commissioner successfully led a high powered delegation of
Indian investors to The Gambia including medical personnel of leading Indian Specialty
Hospitals to hold OPD and surgical camps, at the own cost of the investors and hospitals.
Some of these hospitals are also ready to cooperate in the area of training and supply of
The Gambia Government has accepted the offer by India to be included in the eVBAB
Network project for Africa which is a tele-education and tele-medicine with Indian universities
and hospitals. The MoU to kick start this project will be hopefully signed during the upcoming
VVIP visit to Banjul.
At the request of H.E. President Adama Barrow, the Indian Government is willing to set up
a cancer treatment unit (Bhabatron II). The building of a bunker to house the unit is under
Petroleum and Energy
The Government of India has approved various loans to The Gambia for the successful
implementation of a rural electrification project, replacement of asbestos water pipes and
electricity expansion in the Greater Banjul area.
Still in the area of Energy, the High Commissioner on behalf of the Minister of Petroleum and
Energy of The Gambia signed the International Solar Alliance (ISA) Framework Agreement
in February 2018. Following the signing of the ISA Framework Agreement, The Gambia was
represented at the International Solar Alliance Founding Conference and Solar Summit which
took place from 10th to 11th March 2018 in New Delhi by a high powered delegation led by
the Honourable Minister of Petroleum and Energy. The ISA Agreement has now been ratified
and hopefully the instrument of ratification will be presented by President Barrow to his Indian
counterpart during his upcoming visit.
Recognising the importance of agriculture in the growth of the Gambian economy, the High
Commissioner has been engaging institutions and well known Indian companies to forge
partnerships between them and relevant Government and private institutions in The Gambia.
One such company is Shakti Pumps. Representatives from this company visited The Gambia
in November 2018 and held talks with relevant Ministries and private institutions on how to
enhance the bilateral relations and investment opportunities between the two countries. Other
institutions and industries are currently being engaged by the Mission to collaborate with.
In March 2018, to further strengthen the relationship the Hon. Minister of Agriculture and
Farmers Welfare GOI, pledged his Ministry’s support to The Gambia to render in the areas
of technical assistance, farming inputs (high yield seeds & fertilizer) and capacity building. A
working group of technical experts are expected to field a trip to India to kick start the process
of an imminent collaboration that will be mutually beneficial to both countries.
The Indian Government through its lines of credit awarded Shapoorji Pallonji & Co. Ltd, a
leading Indian construction company the contract to build a state-of-the-art National
Assembly complex which has since been completed. The same company is in the process of
constructing a new complex building of the country’s only public university - University of
The Gambia (UTG). The Indian Government has also approved a grant for the construction
of a convention Centre in the capital with the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry
(GCCI) as a beneficiary.
The Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and the Export Import Bank of India (EXIM)
organized a conclave on India Africa Project Partnership from in March 2018 and again in
2019. Two Ministerial delegations from The Gambia were in attendance and all met with
several potential partners for joint projects.
A US$92million (ninety-two million US dollars) Line of Credit (LOC) was approved by the
Indian Government and projects are currently being considered for its implementation.
The Gambia is an integral and important part of India’s economy. The majority of over one
thousand (1000) Indians are engaged in commercial activities and businesses such as
construction, real estate, mechanised agriculture, wholesale /retail trading (electronic,
Furthermore, to enforce economic diplomacy and encourage foreign direct trade investments
in The Gambia, the High Commission has also been engaging relevant stakeholders to discuss
India – Gambia trade potentials. One such institution is the Associated Chambers of
Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) that resulted in the signing of a
Memorandum of Understanding with GCCI.
To conclude, major developments between The Gambia and India have occurred and there
are further developments in the pipeline to further strengthen the relationship. The Gambia
will continue to support India and shall engage the Indian Government and private
institutions/industries for support too in other priority areas.