Scandinavian Investors Call on Gambian President, H.E. Adama Barrow

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Press Release, Office of The President

 

A delegation of Gambians living in Norway and their Norwegian and Bulgarian partners interested in
investing in the Gambia, called on His Excellency President Adam Barrow on Friday morning. In
her introduction, The Minister of Trade, Regional Integration, Industry and Employment – MOTRIE,
Honourable Dr. ISatou Touray said the visiting team was on a scoping mission but added they were
pleased with what they had discovered in the country.

Gambian Resident in Norway and activist, Ndey Jobarteh said the Gambia did not exploit the
Scandinavian opportunities and it is time to engage the Norwegians. She briefed the President on the
activities they did to prepare the visiting team and the immediate actions, taken during the visit to
support the health, energy sectors amongst others. She expressed the urgency to work on bilateral
relations with Norway and the plan to work with Norwegian government.

Another Norwegian born Gambian, Mr. Mamadi Ceesay, Managing Director of Nutrition, by a
Norwegian Gambian organization – Norga said they sell the best of two worlds, that is The Gambia
and Norway. He further divulged their plans to work on a Norwegian model to encourage The
Gambia to work with specialists so that it can eventually sustain its own development. Their plan
includes to create jobs for one thousand youths throughout the country as they work towards their
target of five thousand youths.

Mr. Omar Badjie of the Ministry of trade gave a brief of the engagements of the Norwegian and
Bulgarian delegation with the different sectors. He reports that the team was impressed with the
potential found in the Gambia, after visiting the Hospital has immediately committed to send 2
containers to support the hospital but also Biomedical engineers to provide technical support in the
operation and maintenance of the machines. They also pledged to provide generator for the
immediate needs of NAWEC while they work with the Ministry of Energy on long term renewable
energy sources for rural Gambia. Other sectors of interest are Tourism, Construction and
Agriculture including plans the revived the groundnut milling plant at Denton Bridge (Saroo.)

In his response H.E. President Barrow said he was pleased and proud that Gambians are answering
his call to rebuilding The Gambia. He asserted that the past twenty-two years was difficult and it was
risky to be political candidate. The President appreciated the efforts of Gambians and how they
compromised everything for the change to take place. He therefore called for all to worked hard for
the change to reflect on the people. The President commended the Gambians in Norway as
Ambassadors for their country, and said all Gambians are now free to return home. He reiterated that
they fought for the change based on the principles of democracy, and he said with democracy, there
will be respect for human rights and rule of law. He appreciated the efforts by the Ministry of trade
working with the other relevant ministries to reduce the bureaucracy which led to signing of
Memoradum of Understanding with the partners. Time is important and his government is ready to
do business.

President Barrow informed them of the challenges inherited including what he described as “a broken
economy and the former government worked on ‘pay as you go’ taking soft loans for three months to
fix things and went back to the same cycle.” On the structural changes at his office, President
Barrow shared the changes they have done to decongest the office of the president by reassigning the
different portfolios to the right line ministries. He elaborated on the targets set in the various sectors,
top on the agenda is for the energy to have short term measures in the first six months and have a
long term solution to solve the energy crises. On tourism, they plan to have a year round tourism and
will market The Gambia and bring back the Scandinavians who used to be one of our main targets for
the tourism sector. President Barrow concluded that when there is development, then democracy
will thrive forever and called on all to join in nation building.

The visiting team included Mr. Ba Jabbie of Norga, Gambian Activists in Norway, Ndey Jobarteh and
Neneh Bojang, a legal practitioner and other Norwegian and Bulgarian investors.

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