President Adama Barrow Tuesday launched his government’s development blueprint at a ceremony held in State House in Banjul.
The main goal of the National Development Plan (NDP) 2018 – 2021 is geared towards delivering good governance and accountability, social cohesion and national reconciliation. It aims to revitalize and transform the economy for the wellbeing of all Gambians.
“Today’s event signifies my government’s commitment to implement projects and programs that will contribute to transforming our country to a more progressive, vibrant and all-inclusive society,” President Barrow said in his launching statement. “Successful implementation of the NDP will ensure achievement of government’s medium term development aspirations. It will also contribute to realization of our global and regional commitments such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and African Union (AU) Agenda 2063.”
Barrow reminded his compatriots about some of the pressing problems his government inherited, the most urgent of which was the frustrations and lack of opportunities for the young people. “This has driven thousands of our young people to undertake the risky journey, across the Mediterranean Sea in search of a better future,” he said. “Similarly, many of our able and distinguished sons and daughters, in the Diaspora, were forced to live in exile due to the repressive environment that prevailed thus, depriving the country of vital human capital and resources needed to fuel the growth for economic and social transformation of our society.”
Since coming to power, he says, his government has undertaken many measures to address the challenges. “Among the measures, we have urgently worked to stabilize the economy, restore public confidence in government, strengthen democratic institutions and address the energy crisis.” “However, I am aware that more must be done, and urgently. That is why I tasked my government to draw up the NDP to provide greater clarity and focus for government action, citizens’ engagement and also for our development partners who are eager and stand ready to assist us,” President Barrow added.
According to him, the NDP is the result of such endeavors and series of consultations and interactions with different stakeholders. “The strategic orientation and the overarching framework for the plan draw upon several elements, the key ones being the Manifesto of the Coalition of the political parties that defeated the previous regime and the Government Compact agreed during a retreat of the cabinet 5-7 May 2017.” “Through its eight strategic priorities and their critical enablers, my government aspires not only to lay the foundations for a modern democratic state, but also to address the most pressing economic and social ills besetting our society,” the Gambian leader stated.
He went on to explain that the plan formulation adopted all-inclusive participatory processes with thematic working groups drawn from government, civil society organizations, the private sector and development partners. President Barrow called upon all Gambians to make the NDP their plan and to seriously interrogate themselves on how best they might contribute to its realization and most importantly to hold the government to account when it falls short, in a constructive and positive spirit of nation building.
“I am convinced that the courage and determination shown by Gambians in defeating tyranny and oppression can be successfully harnessed to also help us overcome our challenges and ensure that together we fully realize the vision and goal of this National Development Plan,” Barrow remarked.