(JollofNews) – President Adama Barrow of the Gambia has used his first cabinet meeting to set out his key development priorities for the country.

The president who succeeded former long-term ruler, Yahya Jammeh in January, said expectations are high on his regime and it will urgently embark on a transformative national development agenda in line with its election manifesto.

He said his government will as a matter of urgency take steps to improve the country’s energy sector, fix the broken economy, unify the nation, improve the health and agricultural sub-sectors and end the country’s isolation.

Mr Barrow further highlighted the urgency for institutional, electoral and constitutional reforms in line with what he described as “our new democratic principles that will respond to the realities of our time.”

He added that all these will be addressed alongside with the civil service and security as well as state-owned enterprise reforms.

The president urged his cabinet ministers to be resolute in their determination to build a better Gambia.

He said with the wealth of experience and competence in the cabinet, rapid transformation can take place to bring back the former glory of the nation.

He expressed optimism that the cabinet will work together  to formulate the right policies and programmes  to address short-term needs but also to control poverty, hunger and disease, which he described as “the enemies of humankind.”

In line with democratic principles, President Barrow advised his cabinet to debate constructively to reach consensus on the common agenda.  This, he said, will require collective responsibility to further the national development agenda.   He called on the cabinet to work hard and take advantage of the good will of our development partners to achieve the expectations of Gambians.

while thanking the ministers for taking the responsibility of nation building, the president urged them to work together and advised that to success they must all “strive and work and pray” as stated in the Gambia’s national anthem.