Banjul, August 1: During the first-ever visit of the President of India to Gambia, India offered The Gambia a grant of $ 5 lakh for skill development and cottage industry project, and also the two sides signed an MOU on Cooperation in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine and Homeopathy.
President Ram Nath Kovind landed in Gambia, yesterday morning in the first-ever visit of the Head of State/Head of Government from India to Gambia. On arrival at the Banjul Airport, the President was received by the President of Gambia Adama Barrow and accorded ceremonial welcome.
During the subsequent one-to-one discussions with his counterpart, the President of India congratulated President Barrow for his win in the Presidential elections held in December 2016 that led to the restoration of democracy in The Gambia. He said that it was a watershed moment for The Gambia and for the democratic world. He also thanked him for writing a piece ‘What Mahatma Gandhi means to me’ to commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
the President led delegation-level talks between the two sides. Speaking on the occasion, he said that India is privileged to be a trusted partner for The Gambia in its growth and prosperity. We are honoured to have built the National Assembly Building of Gambia under our concessional financing arrangement.
President Kovind received the instrument of ratification of the International Solar Alliance Framework Agreement from the Gambian President, which is likely to open up new opportunities of collaboration between the two countries on solar energy and help in combating climate change. In addition, India is also working for setting up solar projects in select villages in The Gambia.
The President said that capacity building is one of the strengths of India and India is happy to partner Gambia in training and capacity building. India also agreed to offer training in the fields of judiciary, police, administration and technical expertise, as per Gambia’s request and in line with the priorities of Gambia. In recent months, India has organised special training programmes for The Gambian Permanent Secretaries and senior civil servants as well as diplomats.
President Barrow acknowledged the positive role played by the Indian community for the progress and prosperity of The Gambia. He conveyed his deep appreciation of the contribution made by the Indian community for the development of The Gambia.
The President noted that India is among the top trading partners of The Gambia. “Our bilateral trade in 2018-19 crossed US$ 200 million, representing an increase of nearly 100% in last two years. India seeks The Gambia’s continued support for Indian enterprises and investment, and for the community. Both sides must work together to see how we can improve bilateral trade further in the coming years,” said the President of India.