Gambia: President Barrow says he inherited low-performing public service

Banjul, Gambia (PANA) - Gambian President Adama Barrow says his government inherited many challenges, including a low-performing public service, lacking in accountability and credible policy direction.

He said this had understandably led to growing frustration of the population, particularly the youth.

Speaking at a retreat for cabinet ministers on Saturday, President Barrow said, however, that constant national engagements and reflections at policy level will strengthen the unity and cohesion in the country and enable his coalition government rise above partisan interest and work for the public good of the new Gambia.

He called on the ministers to urgently unify the country around their transformative development agendas and align speedily with the country's bilateral and multilateral partners to bring about "the socio-economic development for our people".

‘‘We have come from a painful past, especially in the last two decades, in which we hurt each other in many different ways. While I strongly believe in the healing power of reconciliation and forgiveness, it is important to underscore the reality that justice must not only be served but in fact be seen to be done where necessary," he pointed out.

He said government officials must reflect on the Gambia in which they wish to see their children grow up in and identify the changes in attitudes and behaviours that will be required to bring about the new Gambia they promised.

‘‘A culture of accountability will be a crucial start, so that national resources and those contributed by our partners are wisely invested. The ability to collaborate for the sake of national interest even in the heat of political competition will be equally crucial," President Barrow told the ministers.

According to him, the most important element is for the leadership to be exemplary, and as such officials must demonstrate by their personal action a commitment to the highest standard of integrity and personal positive reform for the public to follow.

He said the aspiration for inclusiveness in the new Gambia should leave no one behind and build peaceful and strong communities across the country, adding "this is vital to the success of our democracy.

"Gambia cannot afford to leave its women and youth behind. All our collaborative efforts must take women into consideration if we must achieve sustainable peace and development."

President Barrow pledged that his government was working vigorously to eliminate poverty, which currently stands at almost 50%.

He further said also of importance is the need to improve infrastructure, generate decent employment for Gambians, especially the youth and women, and by extension improve the standard of living of all Gambians.  

President pointed out that his government is open to constructive feedback from the people who gave him the mandate to serve.
-0- PANA MSS/VAO 6May2017

06 may 2017 18:38:37

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