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The Gambia President Barrow with Patricia Scotland Secretary General of The Commonwealth

‘Happy to be back in the Commonwealth,’ Gambian President tells Secretary-General

10 December 2020

Gambian President Adama Barrow has told the Commonwealth Secretary-General that his country is “happy to be back” in the family.

The President expressed his delight in a meeting with the Secretary-General Patricia Scotland while indicating his strong support to move the Commonwealth forward.

In Gambian town Kerewan, both leaders discussed how Commonwealth efforts could support the country’s national development plan to create a resilient economy which leaves no one behind.

The Secretary-General is in The Gambia for her first official visit since the country re-joined the Commonwealth in 2018 - almost five years after leaving the association.   

Historic bonds

Speaking after the meeting, the Secretary-General said: “President Barrow’s words are a testimony to the longstanding partnership between The Gambia and the Commonwealth.

“Our historic bonds, based on trust and partnership, lay the foundation for enormous goodwill towards the Commonwealth in The Gambia.

“As we rekindle our shared connections, we gather ourselves against the ravaging storm of disease, disaster and domestic violence, which is leaving a deep trail of socio-economic destruction, particularly in small states like The Gambia.

“It was inspiring to see how The Gambian government and people are responding to such unprecedented challenges with vigour and ingenuity.

“What becomes clear is that our prospects of success in addressing these global threats are greater and more sustainable if we work together in a holistic, multilateral and concerted manner.

“Therefore, the meetings with the President and members of his government have given us an opportunity to listen to their emerging priorities and develop tailored assistance, drawing from our collective experience and wisdom, which will enable The Gambia to more effectively respond to its emerging challenges.”

A sustainable future

The Secretary-General shared several programmes with the President, including the Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda which is projected to boost trade among the 54 member countries to $2 trillion by 2030, while giving women and young people a bigger slice of the economic pie.

Both leaders discussed further co-operation on other pressing issues related to e-governance, smart agriculture, judiciary integrity and legislative reforms, which were identified as key to delivering a sustainable future for all Gambians.

President Adama Barrow also endorsed the ‘Commonwealth Says NO MORE’ campaign, which is designed to tackle domestic and sexual violence against women and girls, while putting in place long-term prevention measures to eradicate abuse.

This week, the Gambia’s Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Children and Social Welfare will announce its interest to create a local ‘Gambia Says NO MORE’ chapter. Find out more