By: Foday Manneh
The Ambassador of the European Union in the Gambia, Corrado Pampaloni, has revealed to journalists that the EU has invested £500 million in different sectors in the Gambia since the change of government in 2017.
The top EU diplomat disclosed this during a press conference organized for the delegation of six members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from the Committee on Foreign Affairs visiting The Gambia from 3 to 5 April.
The news conference was meant to update the press on the outcome of the Banjul visit led by the Foreign Affairs Committee Chair David McAllister from Germany.
“There were much more pledges than what happened in terms of investments, but the pledge of the European Union has been highly maintained,” Pampaloni said.
“From 2017 to now, the investment of the EU in the Gambia for the development but also to accompany the transition as it is one of the highest investments that we have done in the world, which is £500 million spread over from 2017 to now,” he revealed.
A delegation of six members from the Committee of Foreign Affairs of the EU Parliament visited the Gambia to reaffirm their interest in further deepening their partnership with the West African nation.
The visit came three months after the last political dialogue between the government of the Gambia and the EU and two months after the 24th EU — ECOWAS ministerial dialogue.
The delegation held a high-level meeting with the Gambian government and parliament representatives, namely, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mamadou Tangara, Minister of Justice Dawda Jallow, and the Speaker of the National Assembly Fabakary Tombong Jatta.
“During our visit to Banjul, we discussed topics of mutual interest, such as the current geopolitical and regional challenges and political cooperation, peace and security across the region, Gambia’s democratic consolidation, and transitional justice in the Gambia,” EU Parliamentarian from Germany, David Allister told reporters.
“Our partnership with the Gambia is highly valued. We see the Gambia as a solid, reliable partner. The EU supported the Gambia from the very first hour of its democratic transition process starting in 2017,” he added.
Mr. Allister said their financial and political support to the ongoing consolidation of democracy and national reconciliation and socio-economic developments in the Gambia remains unchanged while assuring more.
“We also underline that the Gambia is one of the countries that would benefit from the EU’s global gateway projects to improve the infrastructure along the Praia, Dakar, Abidjan corridor.”
“We took note of the ongoing work towards setting up to look forward to seeing the recommended measures of the White Paper implemented, including the setting up a special prosecutors office at the hybrid courts in partnership with ECOWAS.
The EU Parliament also expressed solid hopes for the Gambia’s efforts and commitment to the implementation process of the TRRC White Paper, which would enable reconciliation and guarantees the non-reoccurrence of all human rights violations or crimes against humanity.