|President Jammeh speaking to journalists on November 24, 2011 (Photo Credit: AFP)|
The President of the Republic of The Gambia, His Excellency, Sheikh, Professor, Doctor, Alhagie, Yahya Abdulaziz Jamus Junkung Jammeh, is still hopeful of turning into an economic superpower, the tiny west African country of 1.7 million.
In a New Year’s Eve message to Gambians, the president said his country has achieved a lot as a nation over the past eighteen years compared to the previous governments.
But he said Gambians still have to work much harder with strong patriotic zeal, honesty and total devotion and submission to the Supremacy of the Almighty Allah, if “we want to achieve the economic superpower status on time.”
He said the country shall reach the promised land of highest standards of living where poverty is relegated to the dust bin of history if people have a strong faith in and fear of Allah driven by strong determination to succeed.
With this, Mr. Jammeh hopes for greater happiness, peace and everlasting prosperity to be the order of the day, saying: “In essence an economic superpower that would dwarf the current day military superpowers or economic giants.”
Already,various credible studies conducted in the country since 1994 have indicatedthat poverty is on a major increase, and Gambians are already faced with acatch-22 situation.
And Jammeh has forecasted that greater challenges lie ahead of the road to our “promised destination.” But said these challenges have to be faced collectively and overcome. The greatest successes can come only after overcoming the greatest challenges or obstacles.
With seven years to the expiry of his development blueprint document (Vision 2020), his idea of transforming The Gambia into a peaceful economic superpower still have a long way to go.
In the past three years, the country’s Gross Domestic Product (the total value ofgoods and services that The Gambia produces in a year) has been on a massive decline.
In previous public addresses, Jammeh had made known his intentions to make The Gambia a developed country and an economic might that would rival those already set in motion in the United Arabs Emirates (Dubai) and Asia (Singapore).
But his political opponents have some reservations on his ambitions for a country “without natural resources.”
Like his predecessor, the Jammeh-government had, many years ago, announced the discovery of oil in the country, which could have been a catalyst for rapid development, however, not a single drop has been extracted since.
Written by Modou S. Joof