Amadou Sanneh, Finance Minister

(JollofNews) – The Gambia has signed a 30 million Euro grant agreement with the European Commission for its budget support programme.

The programme will contribute to sustainable and inclusive growth and to the improvement of political and economic governance in the Gambia.

According to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, the new government of Adama Barrow is turning to international donor to support the intended democratic reforms, to ensuring essential functions of the state and to re-launching socio-economic developments.

It said the government is facing many challenges which includes extreme high expectations of the population, as well as the need to urgently redress the economy and guarantee financial/budgetary stabilisation, despite the difficult political and economic legacy of the former president.

“The recent change of leadership ending 22 years of dictatorship provides a historic opportunity, which the new government is determined to seize in order to a create a ‘New Gambia’, based on the democratic institutions, separate powers, the rule of laws and respect for human rights,” the ministry said.

“It is in the interest of the European Union (EU) to support this change with all the available means and avoid any slipping back. The State Building Contract (SBC) will support the democratic transition of the Gambia by giving fiscal space in the fiscal year 2017 at a very clear stage of appointment of the government and election of a new parliament. The duration of the SBC will be one year for the budget support component and three years for the technical assistance part.”

The ministry added that the programme is relevant for the United Nations 2030 Agency for Sustainable Development as it contributes primarily to the progressive achievement of SDG 1 ‘No poverty’ but also promotes progress towards SDG 8 ‘Decent work and economic growth’ and SDG 16 ‘Peace justice and strong institutions’.