The International Conference for The Gambia, currently underway in Brussels, Belgium, has amassed €1.45 billion of financial support for the implementation of the country's development blueprint - the National Development Plan 2018-2021 (NDP).
The donor conference is organized by the European Union to galvanize international support for the development endeavours of the Barrow Government. While in Brussels, the delegation will highlight the President's reform agenda as well as solicit international support for the implementation of the NDP.
President Barrow presented a €1.6 billion, out of the €2.4 billion total estimate, financing package to The Gambia's development partners. The rest will be sourced from the progressive fiscal measures being carried out by the government.
In his address at the opening ceremony, the President said the event indicates the global support for The Gambia's return to democratic rule. "It demonstrates the country's shift from isolation to acceptance as a member of the global family of nations", said President Barrow. He stated that the pledges signify a strong global desire to stand in solidarity with the government in its forward march for a just, peaceful and prosperous Gambia.
"They suggest, further, that our aspiration to uplift human dignity is a global concern and that the privileged and developed economies are equally committed to upholding and protecting human dignity through development," he added.
The Gambian President also harped on the investment potentials and limitless opportunities available to investors in the country: "Government will not waver in its drive to provide an enabling and sustained environment for private sector development through tax incentives and public-private partnerships as enablers for job and national wealth creation," President indicated.
Neven Mimica, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation described the event as "a great success for a country that has decided to change history".
Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and President Adama Barrow, co-chaired the conference, announcing an EU-package of 140 million euros to The Gambia's NDP.
The event today included a presentation by The Gambia Finance Minister, Amadou Sanneh and following in the afternoon by a thematic meeting with presentations on the political and economic reforms in The Gambia. The seminar focused on democratic transition- improving the quality of institutions and Building the social contract- promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth and productivity. The Gambia's Foreign Affairs Minister, Ousainou Darboe delivered the concluding remarks.
The National Development Plan 2018-2021 (NDP) is the national development blueprint of President Barrow's government. The Plan comprises series of socio-political and economic reforms aimed at transforming the Gambia into a modern democratic state, which is anchored on good governance and accountability, social progress and a revitalized economy for the wellbeing of all Gambians
Priority areas of the NDP include, but not limited to, governance, human rights and decentralization; macroeconomic stabilization and economic management; human capital development; youth empowerment; private sector development; among others.