Gambia – EU Donor Conference: Vigilance and Transparency

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It has been reported today that 1.45 billion euros was pledged at the donors conference for The Gambia for the next three years. From the communique it is clear that the EU is not the main donor because they are only providing 140 million euros in grants, in addition to the 225 million euros they have already committed.

Do we know how much of that 225 million euros is already disbursed and where and how it is being spent?

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While this is a legitimate matter that citizens have a right to know, we must at the same time raise more other questions, issues and concerns!

For example how well structured and prepared is our Government to receive this monies in implementing the NDP? In other words how good and competent are our policies, laws, institutions and personnel to perform knowing where we came from in these past 22 years?

Where you have Yaya Jammeh enablers all over tg civil service coupled with political appointments of the current government itself, how competent and interested are those public officers to ensure that they don’t sabotage or undermine or just seek their self aggrandizement and cause the NDO to fail?

Therefore how well is President Barrow himself actively vigilant and committed to accountability within the system to ensure that public officers perform well?

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What ethics and values inform and guide our public institutions and officials – from the president to the Speaker to the Chief Justice as a whole down to all of the officers under them to abide by the rule of law and demonstrate the highest standards of honesty, responsibility and efficiency to deliver the NDP to the highest expectations of our people?

In this regard the role and contribution of citizens and CSOs to hold the government to account is urgent in order to helping them to succeed. How vigilant are citizens to demand information, services and performance?

Thus, while we celebrate the outcome of this donor conference let us remember that this money and the NDP are about the life and death of Gambians! We must be vigilant and active in tracking the Government in how it uses these loans and grants. We must bear in mind that if we fail to make good use of this money then we will not only impoverish ourselves more but we would be also harming future generations who will come to only find a deplorable Gambia and a huge debt to pay.

For that matter let us ask more questions about this donor conference and the nature and scope of monies that are pledged. Basic questions should include:

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1. Which governments and organizations are the pledge makers?

2. How much of the 1.45 billion euros constitute loan and grant?

3. How and when will the loans and grants flow to The Gambia Government?

4. What exact tools and processes are put in place to ensure effective monitoring of the resources and implementation of NDP?

For The Gambia Our Homeland

Madi Jobarteh

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