This will be Mr Sharma’s first visit to the West African country as Secretary-General.
During the visit, the Secretary-General is scheduled to meet President Yahya Jammeh, who he will brief about current Commonwealth initiatives, including the reform and renewal agenda to make the organisation more focussed on addressing the needs of its more than two billion citizens ‒ in advancing democracy, development and promoting diversity.
Speaking ahead of the trip, Mr Sharma said that he looks forward to continuing to deepen the relationship between the Commonwealth and The Gambia.
“Country visits when I meet and brief our leaders are always an opportunity for me to listen to what it is we can do together to improve the livelihoods of our people. This is what I intend to do in The Gambia ‒ and I am looking forward to meeting President Jammeh,” the Secretary-General said.
The Commonwealth Secretariat has, over recent years, worked with The Gambia to support strengthening of the judiciary and on improving trade competitiveness. The Secretariat has also provided assistance to the tourism sector, helped enhance the capacity of officials to participate effectively in trade negotiations, assisted with debt management, and worked with the country and other member states on global advocacy, such as climate change, international trade and G20 to enhance the voice of small states in the international system. It has also conducted training of journalists on effectively and responsibly reporting on development and democracy issues.