Monday, July 15, 2013

Senegal and The Gambia renew commitment to bridge River Gambia



After years of talks of building a bridge here, the "new" Aljamdu ferry uselessly ducked at Bamba Tenta-Yelli Tenda crossing point ever-since its multimillion dollar arrival in 2011 (Photo Credit:MSJoof/TNBES/Globe/FPI/Nov2011)
The Gambia’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Susan Waffa-Ogoo and Senegal’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Mankeur Ndiaye, on Tuesday renew commitments of the two Governments to put everything in place to ensure the construction of the bridge across River Gambia.   

They believe that bridging the Yelli Tenda-Bamba Tenda crossing point in Farafenni will facilitate the movement of persons and goods, increase the flow of bilateral trade, and contribute immensely to the sub-regional integration.

During a similar meeting in Dakar in 2011, the Gambian side reaffirmed that the bridge project is a national programme which shall be owned and managed by The Gambia.

However, since the bridge would serve as corridor for integration, the Gambian side wants the Senegalese Government to support the seeking for funding from the regional financing envelope of ECOWAS, EU, ADB and others.

For three decades, the Bridge Project have been constrained by economic interpretation and nationalist framing of winners and losers, according to Abdoukarim Sanneh, a UK-based Gambian researcher. 

Nonetheless, the two countries have renewed their commitment to bridge the Yelli Tenda-Bamba Tenda crossing point - at the end of a two nation meeting dubbed the 6th Session of the Joint Senegalo-Gambia Commission held from July 8-9, 2013 at a local hotel in Kololi, The Gambia.

Read on… the Final Communiqué from the Senegalo-Gambia Commission Meeting in Banjul


On the 8 and 9 of July 2013, the 6th Session of the Joint Commission between the Republic of The Gambia and the Republic of Senegal was held in Banjul, under the auspices of Her Excellency Madame Susan Waffa-OGOO, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of The Gambia and His Excellency Mr. Mankeur NDIAYE, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Senegalese Abroad of the Republic of Senegal.

This high level meeting is part of the framework of implementing executive directives given by His Excellency Yahya A J. J JAMMEH, President of the Republic of The Gambia and His Excellency Mr. Macky SALL, President of the Republic of Senegal, who are desirous of seeing that the cooperation reflects the excellent brotherly and friendly relations that happily bind the two countries and their highest authorities.

This 6th session of the Joint Commission afforded the two Heads of delegation the opportunity to exchange points of view on issues of mutual interest at both the regional and international levels.

The meeting has also enabled the experts to review cooperation in different sectors whose legal framework is composed of several conventions, agreements and memoranda, but also to reinforce and deepen these areas, for the benefit of the peoples of the two countries.

Thus, the Gambian and Senegalese experts have had fruitful discussions on economic, sectoral, technical, cultural and scientific matters, in a cordial and brotherly atmosphere.

At the end of the deliberations, the Foreign Minister of the Republic of The Gambia and the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Senegal and Senegalese Abroad signed the Report of the meeting.

Earlier on, the two Ministers underscored the renewed commitments of the two Governments to put everything in place to ensure the construction of the bridge across River Gambia in a bid to facilitate the movement of persons and goods, increase the flow of bilateral trade and contribute immensely to the sub—regional process of integration.

The two Ministers also expressed their delight about the availability of the Senegalese Side to favorably consider the request to avail the Gambian Side with French teachers in basic education as part of technical assistance and augmentation of the number of sponsored Gambian students in Senegalese Universities.

They also underscored the important dimension accorded to the reinforcement of cooperation on security, through notably, the exchange of regular strategic intelligence and expertise.

The Republic of The Gambia and the Republic of Senegal, through their Foreign Ministers, are particularly satisfied with the option of giving a significant boost to the cultural exchanges and trans-border cooperation.

Furthermore, they expressed satisfaction about the engagement undertaken by the two Sides to reinforce the legal framework of their cooperation through the signing, at the earliest convenience, of draft Agreements on Culture, Tourism and Sports.

Conscious of the strong political will expressed by the highest authorities of the two countries, the two Sides reached satisfactory conclusions which open the way to greater perspectives of cooperation.

The two Sides are programmed to meet in Dakar in 2015, for the 7th Session of the Senegalo-Gambian Joint Commission.   



Written by Modou S. Joof
 
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