By Kebba Jeffang

 Mr. Adama Barrow, the President of The Gambia said the country’s experts have to take the risks for the country’s sake in order to turnaround the challenges that crippled his administration in the past year. He was addressing top civil servants including permanent secretaries, directors, managers and governors at a meeting held at State House on January, 23rd.

“We are faced with challenges but we are willing to listen and learn to succeed, but we can’t succeed without unity.  Others can help us but the ultimate responsibility lies with Gambians.  We all faced challenges of uncertainties but we have to be determined to set up and connect.  Gambian experts have to take risks for the sake of The Gambia,” he said.

He said the expectations are still very high and deserve to be managed and attended to, through deliberate and specific programs and projects designed to provide dividends of democracy. He said the process requires commitment, hard work and sincerity by all especially as sector leaders. He urged for positive attitudinal change by civil servants towards the work.

Discussing the challenges that hindered his government, the President mentioned the debt burden currently unsustainable with a GDP ratio of 125%. According to him, there is a huge quantity of revenue that goes to servicing of debt rather than investing in education, health or other social developing projects.

“Beyond the economic challenges, we are also faced with a major energy crisis, poor road networks and inadequate infrastructure. The potentials of our agriculture subsector still remain largely untapped due to limited investment and the resultant use of primitive farming methods,” he said.

However, he said “the challenges are by no means impossible to overcome. In order for this process to be meaningful, you all as Public Servants have been entrusted with a responsibility to perform a noble duty for the betterment of the lives of our fellow citizens. The Reforms will only be meaningful if the benefits are visible and felt by all Gambians especially those at the grass-root level,” he said.

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