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Europe Day: Ambassador Pampaloni Announces EU to Support Banjul Ports Expansion, River Transport

EU Ambassador to The Gambia last evening announced that as part of a newly-launched Global Gateway, a whooping EUR 300 billion funding is to be mobilised between 2022 to 2027, in which The Gambia will be supported with up to EURO 360 million in its sea port expansion, and developing river transportation further upstream, among other projects.

Europe Day was observed in The Gambia at a cocktail reception hosted by the EU Ambassador, Corrado Pampaloni at the Alliance Français, with dignitaries from both government, and the diplomatic corps in The Gambia, as well as some friends of the EU. It was at this event that the EU diplomat made the revelations about their development cooperation package for The Gambia in the next five years.

“The EU and The Gambia are connected in myriad of ways in our increasingly interconnected world. To respond to the new challenges and opportunities that spring from this interdependence, the EU has recently launched the Global Gateway, a new European strategy to boost smart, clean and secure links in digital, energy and transport sectors and to strengthen health, education and research systems across the world,” he said.

In this regard, the diplomat announced the EU institutions and EU Member States jointly will mobilise up to EUR 300 billion of investments in digital, climate and energy, transport, health, education and research between 2021 and 2027.

“For The Gambia, this means a significant financial injection into the project to expand the Port of Banjul, and develop river transportation further upstream, for instance,” he further explained.

For the European Union and its Member States, Europe Day is a day to celebrate peace and unity in Europe. The actual objective of close cooperation and integration between nations in Europe is to make war between those nations unthinkable.

“Yet, as I speak the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, and the international community needs to continue engaged and active in facing this unimaginable aggression. That is why on 9 May, Europe’s Day, the EU’s voice resonates loud and clear in the world,” said the Ambassador.

Turning to The Gambia, the diplomat emphasised that the EU is a true partner of The Gambia and as such, it wishes to promote “a mutually benefitting and respectful relationship” with its Gambian partners. There is already a lot of positive developments registered, something both sides take pride in.

However, as The Gambia enters its next phase in the transition, the EU said they are very keen to see how the new Barrow government will take it forward. At the same time, the EU-Gambia partnership enters a new phase, too, prioritising the ongoing transition, accompanying the country as it firmly anchors democracy.

“We strive towards an ever-stronger cooperation that will pay improved dividends for the entire country. This is why we will also develop and implement joint programmes and projects in the field of human development – with an emphasis on education – and towards the development of a green economy for sustainable jobs growth,” he said.

The previous cooperation package from the EU to The Gambia (2017-2021) was EUR 250m and the rest was ECOMIG and EU Trust fund (post-arrival assistance and reintegration projects for returnees and would-be migrants – YEP, Tekki Fii and EU-IOM Joint programme).

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