By Louise Jobe/Kebba Touray
Mambureh NJIE, the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs and Alexandre Pointier, the French Development Agency’s (AFD) Regional Director for Senegal, the Gambia, Cape Verde and Guinea Bissau yesterday Tuesday December 10th, signed a finance agreement formalizing a two million Euro budget support for the Gambia.
The agreement is further to the 2017 democratic transition in the Gambia, when the Government of France expressed willingness to work towards the renovation of the soiled diplomatic and economic relations with the Gambia during the past twenty two years. At the International donor Conference for the Gambia in Brussels in May 2018, France pledged to contribute to the economic stabilization of the country and to support the implementation of the National Development Plan (DNP) with 50 million Euros to be disbursed in three years.
The finance agreement signed between AFD and the Government of The Gambia, is the second budget support from the French Government in addition to the pledge made at the Brussels conference. In 2018, the French Government granted a 5 Million Euro budget support to sustain the macroeconomic stabilization of the country and ease the transition towards an IMF-financed program.
The purpose of this second operation is to safeguard poverty-reduction spending and to support Government efforts in the restoration of the country’s fiscal balance. As such, the budget support will seek to safeguard poverty-reduction expenditures and alleviate Government’s financing gap.
As expressed in the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Republic of the Gambia and the French Development Agency on November 5th 2018 in the presence of Jean-Yves LE DRIAN, French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, it is expected that AFD and the Gambia will increase their cooperation. In the short-term, a 26.5 Million Euro program will be implemented in addition to budget support in the areas of agriculture, to increase food sufficiency and access to water in urban areas, and to support sustainable public services development.
About the Agence Française de Développement (AFD):
AFD is France’s inclusive public development bank. It commits financing and technical assistance to projects that genuinely improve everyday life both in developing and emerging countries and in French overseas territories. Their action is fully in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Through its network of 85 Agencies, AFD operates in 109 countries where it currently finances, supervises and support over 3,600 development projects.