Tuesday, October 5, 2010

"IRAN-GAMBIA BILATERAL TIES IN GOOD SHAPE" SAYS SAEID ZARE



Banjul, The Gambia (TNBES) The Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran in The Gambia Mr. Saeid Zare has said that the relationship between The Gambia and Iran has been in good shape for many years and has been unlimitedly expanding, as there is no obstacle that impedes the relationship of the two countries.

Ambassador Saeid Zare made this remark on Tuesday during the opening of a three-day Senior Management Training for the Ministry of Agriculture and the newly established Department of Agriculture. The training was funded by the Islamic Republic of Iran office in The Gambia for Agriculture and Rural Development (IGARD) at the Paradise Suites Hotel in Kololi.

Saeid Zare noted that Iran is very keen in promoting peace and stability at every corner of the world, adding that Iran would like to see peace and prosperity and progress for the two brotherhood nations, as well as a political relationship with growing economic ties.

"The Gambia has good investment capacity which has motivated Iranian investors to invest their capital in The Gambia, particularly in the field of agriculture and technology,” he said.

He also said that Iran has recently launched some new investment projects in West Africa, and is hoping that Gambia will be one of those countries that are to benefit from the project as a similar project will be launched in The Gambia very soon.

On technical cooperation, he said Iran has since have the desire and readiness to cooperate with The Gambia in various fields, such as fishery, agriculture, investment and implementation of different projects.

However, he stressed that this cannot be achieved by the two nation without the collaboration both sides.

Declaring the workshop open, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Modou S. Kah said the training is designed to strengthen the capacity of senior managers at his Ministry and that the training is also meant to better inform the newly established agricultural department.

DPM Kah explained that the training as envisaged has the overall objective of strengthening the capacity of the senior management of agriculture, will enhance the on-going restructuring programme of the sub-sector.

According to him, the training will keep the participants to be better informed about the restructuring of the ministry of agriculture; familiarize them with the procedures for access and use of public resources; expose participants to the general framework to strategic planning process; and to improve the communication skill of participants.

Considering the number of personnel under the Department of Agriculture, the new establishments with policy objectives, strategies and targets, the need for capacity building and improvement cannot be overemphasized.

On his part, Mr. Abdoukarim Sonko, the Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the Government of The Gambia is highly appreciative of the development support being rendered to this country and those in the pipeline by government and people of Iran.

DPS Sonko disclosed that the approval of the five agricultural projects valued at one million US Dollars is considered as a humanitarian assistance from the government of Iran.

“With this humanitarian assistance received from Iran, implementation of these projects would soon commence in earnest, since the funds are already at the Iranian Embassy in Dakar and waiting to be released to IGARD on behalf of The Government of The Gambia,” he said.

Mr. Sonko also said: "you will all agree with me that the establishment of the Iran Office in The Gambia for Agriculture and Rural Development (IGARD) by the Islamic Republic of Iran and The government of The Gambia is a clear manifestation of the true friendship that exists between the two nations."

He also noted that this is the first activity of IGARD since its inception in 2009, saying that it is important to consider this occasion as an inauguration of IGARD Project in The Gambia. VOL:2 ISSN:40

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