STATEMENT BY HIS EXCELLENCY ADAMA BARROW
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE GAMBIA
ON THE OCCASION OF THE VISIT OF
HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS
THE PRINCE OF WALES AND
HER ROYAL HIGHNESS
THE DUCHESS OF CORNWALL
31st OCTOBER - 2ND NOVEMEBR 2018
Your Royal Highnesses, The Prince of Wales and
The Duchess of Cornwall,
Ladies and Gentlemen.
It is a great pleasure for me and my Government, and for the entire people of The Gambia, to welcome Your Royal Highnesses to The Gambia, “the Smiling Coast of West Africa”.
We are truly honoured by this visit, especially as Your Royal Highnesses chose to come to The Gambia before anywhere else. To us, it is an indication of the true love Your Royal Highnesses have for The Gambia, and it shows your readiness to support us to realise our development aspirations.
We welcome and appreciate Your Royal Highness’s leadership of the Commonwealth and, as a new Government, we look forward to a meaningful engagement with the Commonwealth family and structures to implement our development programmes.
In December, 2016, Gambians made a historic decision to elect a new Government. Underpinning this change is the very high expectation by the people seeking quick solutions to fix a broken economy and restore democratic values, promote good governance, the rule of law, respect for human and people’s rights and ensure peace and security. While all these have been adequately incorporated into our National Development Plan (2018-2021), as well as in the ongoing reforms, attaining these aspirations is not an easy task.
The recent decision by The Gambia to re-join the Commonwealth is ample testimony of my Government’s readiness to enhance international cooperation. To this end, I call on the Commonwealth family to stand by us, accompany us and enhance its visibility through concrete action and the application of the instruments that would build our human resource capacity, our infrastructure and ensure the effective functioning of our institutions.
I also call on the United Kingdom, with whom we have special historical ties, to continue to support us through enhanced trade, investment and wider economic cooperation. We can only expect that, after a long spell of misrule and dictatorship, we overcome The Gambia’s isolation from the international community, and open a new page for renewed friendship with the Kingdom and other friends.
The Gambia continues to host, on an annual basis, one of the largest contingents of British tourists.
Also, besides calling it home, many Gambians live in the United Kingdom and contribute actively and in various ways to British society. They have become an integral part of the Gambia-UK story in their own way.
To conclude, my Government will continue to strengthen the pathway to good governance and human security, which is so crucial to the wellbeing and safety of our citizens and their prosperity. Restoring good governance, rebuilding and restoring public confidence in key institutions, upholding human rights and strengthening access to justice, in the context of transitional justice, are some of our urgent priorities.
My Government is determined that the country regains its reputation as a beacon of democracy and be recognized as a nation which upholds the highest standards and principles of governance.
Once again, I most delightfully welcome Your Royal Highnesses to The Gambia, and I hope that this visit brings you unforgettable memories of friendship and hospitality.
I thank you all