By Awa B. Bah
The Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China in the Gambia His Excellency Zhang Jiming, Monday officially presented and handed over office hardware and equipment to the speaker of the national assembly, Mariam Jack Denton, at the National Assembly building in Banjul.
The donated office hardware and equipment valued at D14 Million, was donated to the national assembly by the Government of the People’s Republic of China after a successful official visit to China by members of the national assembly of the Gambia, last year. The donated office equipment were ninety laptops, seventy printers, ten microphones, twenty main duplicators, one hundred and forty drum units for printers, one hundred and fifty toners for photocopy, twenty paper feed units photocopier, twenty duplex units for photocopier, twenty automatic document feeder, ninety mousses and ninety bags.
Speaker Mariam Jack Denton said the donation of the equipment began on June 2017, when the Chinese Ambassador called on the office of the speaker of the national assembly of the Gambia, which she said was meant to promote and strengthen bilateral relations between the government and people of the Gambia and the People’s Republic of China as well as strengthening and promoting friendly relationship and ties between the two respective national legislative bodies. After series of follow up meetings, she said the Chinese Ambassador extended an invitation from the Chairman of the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China (NPC) to the Speaker of the national assembly of the Gambia, to visit china with a delegation of seven with modalities to be worked out in line with foreign policy guidelines. According to the speaker, the visit to China marked the donation of office equipment worth over millions of dalasi. She said the national assembly of the Gambia as an institution was deeply touched and moved by the gestures and prayed that the relationship continues to grow from strength to strength. She thanked and commended the Government and the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China through the ambassador and his team, for their tireless efforts that led to the donation of the office equipment.
On his part the Chinese Ambassador to the Gambia his Excellency Zhang Jiming said it was an honour for him to hand over the donated items from the Government of the People’s Republic of China to the National Assembly of the Gambia; that the goodwill gesture was to alleviate some of the hardware constraints and facilitate the work of members and staff of the National Assembly. The donation he noted is one of the immediate outcomes of the successful official visit to china by the speaker and delegation last year; that the legislative bodies of the two countries were reconnected after an interruption of more than two decades. ‘‘The ensuing expeditious establishment of the inter-parliamentary bilateral friendship groups in the National Assembly of the Gambia and the National People’s Congress of China demonstrates how much importance the two bodies attach to this relationship and how high the expectation is for the inter-parliamentary links; that he is looking forward to work closely with the National Assembly of the Gambia to explore the opportunities in the new era of bilateral ties and promote the inter-parliamentary links and mutually beneficial cooperation to a new height and deliver more to their peoples.