State House, 9th May 2019 – The President of the Republic, His Excellency President Adama Barrow has reiterated the importance of the ongoing reforms programme of his administration, stressing that it will go a long way in correcting the institutional and governance failures of the past regime.
“This is a priority for the country to rectify the wrongs through the reform programmes”, he said while receiving in audience the United Nation’s Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel, Dr. Muhammed Ibn Chambas, on Thursday, 9th May at the State House in Banjul. He was accompanied by a United Nations delegation, including the Resident Coordinator of the UN in The Gambia, Madam Seraphine Wakana.
President Barrow cited the works of the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC), which is engaging all sections of The Gambian society in its bid to produce a more inclusive and permanent constitution. Additionally, he made reference to the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission as a learning point for all Gambians that the truth will always come to light, no matter how long it takes. Also mentioned by the president were the electoral reforms being done by the electoral commission geared towards modernising and creating more sustainable, free, fair and transparent political engagements.
Stressing the seriousness of the government to deliver on it promises of bringing progress and prosperity for all, the president mentioned the establishment of a delivery and monitoring unit for the National Development Plan (NDP) called the Strategic Policy Implementation Unit at the Office of the President. He said the body is mandated to better coordinate institutional reforms, optimize performance and result of government programmes under the NDP.
President Barrow commends Dr. Ibn Chambas for taking leadership role in negotiating for the support of the United Nations in The Gambia during the infamous political impasse of 2016/17. He assured him of his political will in the management of the change that was meant to bring about proper institutional reforms for all citizens to enjoy their full potentials.
Speaking to the State House press corps after the closed-door session, the top UN official expressed satisfaction with the assurances of the president to continue carrying out real reforms that would consolidate good governance and democracy.
“We got the assurances of the President that continuous progress will be made in the implementation of the NDP because that is what will bring the dividends of the democracy,” the UN diplomat stated, assuring that the international community, particularly the U.N. will continue to fulfill their pledges.
The visit has afforded the UN delegation an opportunity to pay courtesy calls on a number of commissions set up by the government to implement the various reform initiatives.
“I must say that we are very pleased with the progress that is being made. We have all seen the TRRC making headlines internationally’’, Dr. Chambas said. ‘’It is important work, given what The Gambia has gone through in the 22 years of the former regime”.