Dr. Tangara Says Plans To Launch New Development Plan 2023-2027 Underway

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By Ndey Sowe

Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Mamadou Tangara, said The Gambia is about to launch a new development plan called: “Green Focused National Development Plan 2023-2027”, with the intention to move from potential to prosperity as encapsulated in the theme for this conference which provided deep meaning for The Gambia and other Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

Foreign Minister Tangara said this on Monday 6th March 2023, while delivering a statement at the Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5) in Doha, Qatar.

“A core pillar of this new plan is private sector development by taking into account competitive advantages for the government such as being part of The Dakar-Praia corridor, as a hub for special economic zones, agropols and industrial parks along the Trans-Gambia; a free port with proximity to African and EU markets, and our leverage on regional economic arrangements such as the ECOWAS Free Trade and Free Movement Protocols, and the AFCFTA. We are hopeful that the implementation of the Doha programme of action will complement efforts of the government in achieving national development goals,” Minister Tangara said. He further highlighted some of the most attractive policies that are needed to promote tangible national and international trade investment, but worried that challenges such as non-tariff barriers to trade that affect other LDCs continue to have a negative impact on the trade and growth potential of these countries. That with the Doha Programme of Action, he is hopeful that most of these challenges will be mitigated as they are committed to addressing them.

Minister Tangara said Qatar is renowned for its friendly disposition and hospitality, and is one of the genuine partners and an all-weather friend of the LDCs including The Gambia. That with the successful hosting of the World Cup and the Conference, Qatar continues to demonstrate the potentials of small states and what they can achieve when they do not lower their ambitions.

Minister Tangara also extended his gratitude to the Office of the High Representative for LDCs, landlocked developing countries and small Island developing states (UN-OHRLLS) for organising this forum and for being strong advocates for LDCs at the UN. That their efforts in supporting LDCs in mobilizing resources, guiding and monitoring the implementation of their programmes of action especially in the establishment of the LDC technology bank and the investment support programme for LDCs, are sincerely appreciated.

He further recognized and thanked the United Nations country team who have been a true partner of The Gambia through offering their unflinching support towards meeting the national development objectives and for their good collaboration. That together with them, The Gambian government will travel the journey of implementing the DPOA at the national level.

Minister Tangara further explained the country’s emergence from the shackles of poor governance in 2016, with a number of policies that have been put in place resulting in significant progress in democratic governance, respect for the rule of law, respect for human rights and economic prosperity; hence, putting the country on course to rebuilding and regaining its rightful place in the comity of nations.

Mr Tanagara said despite the above successes, The Gambia like other LDCs equally continue to face significant development challenges, such as the impact of COVID-19, effects of the war in Europe, low productive capacities, high debt burdens, limited access to regional and international markets, limited structural transformation, low value addition, inability to attract Foreign Direct Investment, limited private sector development, high energy cost, challenges of achieving food self-sufficiency, climate change vulnerability and exposure to external shocks. That with the identification of the above challenges, the main priority for The Gambia is to endeavor the implementation of DPOA and the initiatives to confront and overcome the above mentioned challenges to enable the actualization of growth and development.