President Barrow from African Union summit

Below are excerpts from the President’s interview with the media at the airport upon his arrival from the African Union summit, as presented by the Office of the President. 

On the summit

‘’A well-attended and represented summit. One thing is very important: Africa is speaking with the same voice on how we deal with corruption. A lot of resources has been wasted in Africa, it is now time that Africans come together and fight corruption if we mean development for Africa. I think we were serious about this, and we want to build our institutions and make them stronger, so that they will help us to eliminate corruption. Even if we cannot eliminate corruption 100 percent, at least, we can minimize it in the interest of our continent. I think this was the main focus and direction of the summit.’’

 Meeting with President Obiang and bilateral engagements 

‘’We held closed-door meetings and most of our discussions centered on African integration. The President of Equatorial Guinea is a Senior Statesman. We discussed…and assured them that one day, we the young ones will continue with the mantle of leadership on the continent.’’

Succeeding against corruption where previous leaders failed 

‘’…this is not just about statements, it is about building institutions: the moment we build our institutions, we become stronger as the institutions control everybody. It will not be the matter of a head of state now. It is the institution. That is the most important thing’’.

Cabinet shuffle 

‘’I don’t think it has anything to do with corruption. The Gambian people have given me a mandate to make sure we deliver. To do this, there are Gambians who we need in particular places at particular times. So we can make changes. These are constitutional powers that I have, so I make the changes in the main interest of this country’’.

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