A press statement from Statehouse disclosed a statement from the German Ambassador to The Gambia Stephen Roken, his country’s intention to increase its diplomatic presence in the country beginning this year.
The statement is said to have been disclosed in bilateral talks held with President Barrow at the State House on Friday January 10th 2020.
According to Ambassador Stephen Roken, consensus has been reached between Banjul and Berlin that the current diplomatic status will be elevated higher than just a Liaison Office in the Gambia.
“We want to increase our diplomatic presence. For the first time, we will send a diplomat from Germany, in a few weeks, to intensify political, economic and cultural relations,” the diplomat said, noting that this is a big step forward considering all the countries that want German Diplomatic presence.
President Barrow welcomes this development and said a lot of agreement signed during the visit of the Federal President of Germany, can be effectively facilitated with such presence.
When the German Federal President visited Banjul in 2017, the two leaders discussed intensification of bilateral relations. Today, there is a number of progress registered in the cooperation such as the construction of the GTTI annex in Mansa Konko, in a bid to decentralize vocational education and training for youth, as well as strengthening capacities in areas of energy supply.
“The next steps of economic cooperation will start to improve this year, with the stabilization fund that will support value addition in the production chains to provide jobs in horticulture, fish processing and smoking and vocational training,” he added.
The diplomat is of the view that young people in the Gambia need to explore the possibility to be successful here and to earn a decent living and create families.
“What they need is job opportunity for young Gambians and that is what our cooperation is about. That is where we have a common interest to fight illegal migration,” the Ambassador said.
The Ambassador expressed condolence to the President for the recent boat tragedy that claimed over sixty lives of Gambian youth off the coast of Mauritania. He described this as “a tragedy that should never be repeated.”