By Bekai Njie
After a closed-door meeting with His Excellency, President Adama Barrow, the executive chairman of the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, Tony Blair – former British Prime Minister – told the State House media corps on Monday that he has never been more confident in the vision of the president to deliver on his promises to the Gambian people.
“Talking to the President, I think it is clear what those priorities are: electricity, agriculture, developing the seaport, making the Gambian tourism a key global attraction for tourists. These basically are what the government is focused on and they are able to do that with substantial international support,” he maintained.
After a difficult political history, Mr. Blair said that it is important that the government started with stabilizing the socioeconomic and political situation of the country. He explained that the recent donor conference in Brussels was a very important landmark because it sends a clear message from the international community that they appreciate the ongoing transformation in The Gambia.
The former British Prime Minister assured that his organization would continue to support the Barrow government in attaining the goals of its development blueprint, the National Development Plan (NDP), particularly the priority areas. Mr. Blair added that the task of his institute is to bring in experts that will work alongside government officials in The Gambia.
“We are very happy to be working with the President here in The Gambia, among a number of other countries in Africa, helping to improve the capacity of governments to deliver to their people. We help them deliver on the priorities of their government”, Mr. Blair said, noting that the country is making progress and doing well, in spite of the high expectations of the people on the government.
It is the third visit of the former British Prime Minister to The Gambia since President Barrow took office.