By Kebba Jeffang
A fourteen member delegation of Turkey–Gambia Business Councils have presented a proposal for Solar Energy Generation as an alternative source of Electricity in the Gambia.
The two business councils met President Adama Barrow on Wednesday, 11th October at his Fajara office.
The delegation was led by the Turkish Ambassador to The Gambia, Ismail Sefa Yuceer, according to the press release received from the presidency.
The ambassador also informed that there will be a construction of hospitals in the country.
According to the release, the delegation presented specific proposals for alternative energy in The Gambia, the construction of a new Children’s Hospital and a General Hospital, the establishment of a direct flight between Istanbul and Banjul and the provision of Turkish scholarships to Gambian students.
The Chairman of the Turkey–Gambia Business Councils, Mr Aygun Karakas, said members of the two councils were ready to invest in a 40-50 megawatt Solar project in The Gambia; that they will also contribute to healthcare services with a construction of a 150-bed Pediatric and General Hospital as well as commence bi-weekly direct flights between Istanbul and Banjul in the first quarter of 2018. He said a team was already in the Gambia to carry out a feasibility study on the conditions of having regular direct flights.
For his part, President Barrow said Turkish investment in Africa was second only to the United States of America, and added that The Gambia had not benefited much from this.
“Our spirit is very high. Development cannot happen without opening to the private sector,” he said.
Barrow expressed the hope of seeing many Turkish Companies having interest in various fields, including fisheries. He assured them of his administration’s commitment to provide a democratic atmosphere, respect for the rule of law and a secure environment for business to thrive.
He further assured them of the political will, which he said manifested through the setting up of an investment committee to review all serious business proposals. He encouraged them to work with the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and other stakeholders.
The visiting delegation also elaborated on specific social cooperate programmes to expand the scholarship package with the University of Commerce in Turkey, the training of medical doctors, exchange visits with the University of The Gambia and the provision of vocational training.
Both countries also envisage the further strengthening of bilateral cooperation through an upcoming capacity building programme for the security sector.