At a ceremony held on the sidelines of the Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank Group on Wednesday, 12 June, the president of Gambia, Adama Barrow, was awarded the Great Builder Super Prize - The Africa Road Builders Babacar Ndiaye Trophy 2019, for his personal leadership in building the Senegambia bridge that links Gambia to Senegal.
Mamburay Njie, Gambian Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, representing his Head of State, said: "It is a great honour to receive this award on behalf of his Excellency, President Adama Barrow, who humbly accepts it in recognition of his outstanding work on roads and transport and of his personal leadership that enabled the building of the Senegambia bridge".
"This bridge is one of the greatest achievements of the sub-region. It promises great things for the connectivity and integration of Gambia and Senegal. It is also a contribution to the African continent's integration agenda. Its other positive effects for the sub-region include a significant reduction in travel times, stronger social cohesion, and better access to the Nouakchott-Dakar-Lagos transport corridor," the minister added.
Speaking on behalf of the Bank at this Africa Road Builders (ARB) ceremony, Mike Salawou, Division Manager, Department of Infrastructure and Urban Development, congratulated the new winner, then offered support for the initiators of the event before highlighting the importance of continuing to invest in Africa's infrastructure.
"The African Development Bank is investing heavily in infrastructure, but we are still a long way off our expectations. It is through projects like the Senegambia bridge that we will achieve them," said Mr Salawou.
A true symbol of sub-regional integration, the 942-metre Senegambia bridge was opened on 24 January 2019 by President Adama Barrow and his Senegalese counterpart, President Macky Sall. Its construction was funded entirely by the Bank through a $88.4 million grant to Gambia and a $4.4 million loan to the Senegalese Government.
Initiated by The Africa Road Builders (ARB), an international forum for discussion and recognition of key figures in African roads and transport, the Babacar Ndiaye Super Prize is an award for heads of state whose countries initiate outstanding projects or achievements in relation to the development of roads, transportation and mobility.