The Gambia government signed numerous agreements with the Republic of Guinea in what officials said marked the beginning of stronger diplomatic ties between the two States during President Adama Barrow’s three-day state visit.
A dispatch dated 8th June 2021 from State House, Banjul, said the agreements signed by ministers and government representatives from both countries included; the formation of a joint commission, diplomatic and political consultations between two Foreign Affairs Ministries, tourism cooperation between two Tourism Ministries, trade, fisheries, and higher education, as well as scientific research and technology.
It stated that asa part of the visit, President Barrow toured the Gambia River Basin Development Organization (OMVG) projects at the Kaleta and Souapiti Dams to monitor the progress of the ongoing works.
“As the current Chairperson of the OMVG Conference of Heads of State, the Gambian Leader described the project as a shared commitment to the effective management of common resources and a viable means to addressing the region’s power shortfall. He highlighted that the initiative will have a positive impact on people’s lives and livelihoods with the creation of tremendous opportunities,” the dispatch stated.
The dispatch further indicated that President Barrow also urged the project’s member countries—Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Senegal, and The Gambia—to redouble their commitment before praising Guinea’s excellent leadership in achieving the project’s objectives. It said Barrow thanked the OMVG High Commissioner and his team, who recently briefed him in Banjul on the implementation status of the projects, for their dedication and hard work.
During a banquet in his honour, the dispatch stated that President Barrow was awarded the highest National Order of Guinea by his Guinean counterpart, His Excellency Professor Alpha Condé. The President was recognized in the citation for his contributions to the consolidation of friendship and cooperation between the two countries, it added.
“In his address, President Barrow thanked President Alpha Condé for the hospitality shown to him and his entire delegation. President Barrow expressed gratitude and honour to his counterpart for the bestowing him with such a prestigious award. He further added that his visit was an opportunity to also commemorate and reaffirm the unbreakable links of friendship and goodwill, as well as the cultural links that tie the two countries and peoples together,” the dispatch stated.
“This visit is the result of decades of trusted partnership, which continues to strengthen our cooperation on various fronts,’’ Barrow was quoted at the occasion.
“President Barrow acknowledged the profound historical and cultural ties of the two countries, calling for a reaffirmation of shared values and the concerted development of the countries, sub-region, and the continent as a whole,” the dispatch indicated.
The dispatch said the President’s visit ended with his customary meeting with Gambians on State visits. It said the Gambian population in Guinea greeted him warmly and praised his government’s development initiatives in The Gambia. The Gambian Community appealed to the President to provide them with assistance given that the pandemic has an impact on their livelihoods, it stated.
“In response, the President stated that his government will consider their situation and see what might be done. He urged them to be good Gambia ambassadors by staying away from criminal activities and focusing on their businesses. The President also called on the Gambian community to support his government’s development goals.
“The tourism minister, Honourable Hamat Bah, spoke on the pandemic’s global effects as well as The Gambia government’s attempts to assist citizens and institutions affected by COVID-19,” the dispatch stated.