President Adama Barrow of the Gambia has revealed that his government is working on modalities to introduce an all year-round tourism in the country.
Tourism is the fastest growing sector of the Gambian economy. It accounts for about 16 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product and is also the biggest foreign exchange earner.
Speaking at a meeting with some Gambians living in Norway and their Norwegian and Bulgarian partners interested in investing in the Gambia, Mr. Barrow said in line with his campaign promises, his government intends to transform the Gambia into an attractive hub for investors and visitors.
He added that his regime is ready to do business and will market the Gambia to tour operators and travel agents in the Scandinavia to increase the number of visitors to the country.
Mr. Barrow said his regime had inherited a broken economy built on ‘ a pay as you go’ principle in which soft loans were taken every three months to run the country’s economy.
He added that his government is embarking on serious reforms and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Employment are working with other ministries to reduce bureaucracy in the civil service and government agencies.
He added that some structural changes have been effected at his office to decongest the Office of the President by reassigning the different portfolios to the right line ministries.
The president said he is proud and pleased that Gambians are responding to his call to help rebuild the country. He commended Gambians for their support and contributions in the restoration of true democracy in the country.
He said all Gambians especially activists who were forced into exile for speaking out against the excesses of his predecessor’s regime are free to return and help rebuild the country.
He added that the activists fought for political change in the Gambia based on the principles of democracy, and his regime will guarantee and safeguard the rights and freedoms of all Gambians.
Also speaking at the meeting, Ndey Jobarteh, a Gambian activist in Norway and said the previous Gambian regime did not exploit the Scandinavian opportunities and it is time to engage the Norwegians.
She briefed the president of the activities they did to prepare the visiting team and the immediate actions, taken during the visit to support the health, energy sectors amongst others. She expressed the urgency to work on bilateral relations with Norway and the plan to work with the Norwegian government.