Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Transgambia Bridge: Towards Sub Regional Integration Or Not?

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The north and south banks of The Gambia have been separated by a river which is one of the most navigable rivers in West Africa. This is why explorers did not hesitate to navigate the river in search of lands that were considered to be sources of immense riches in terms of gold and other minerals.

After independence the Transgambia route had become a source of both revenue and conflict leading to tensions between Senegal and Gambia as transporters repeatedly lodged complaints of discrimination. Transport unions responded by occasionally closing the Senegalese border to prevent Gambian transports from crossing the border. In some cases Senegalese transports will take the Tambacounda route to get to cost Casamance at much cost in terms time and fuel.

The construction of a bridge raises many questions regarding the navigability of the river. Now that it is constructed practice will provide the answers.

The presence of the President of Senegal raises the question of sub regional integration. The bridge could only serve the purpose of sub regional integration if there is free movement of goods, people and services to and fro. The President of Senegal and the President of The Gambia should make commitment not to place any restrictions to movement of goods, people and services to and from Senegal. Foroyaa will continue to monitor the post construction developments around the Transgambia Bridge.

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