State House, Banjul, 9th November 2023: On the sidelines of the Saudi-Africa Summit, several Saudi dignitaries called on His Excellency Adama Barrow in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to discuss bilateral and other diplomatic issues of mutual concern to their institutions and The Gambia.
In his first engagement on Thursday, 9th November 2023, the President held an audience with the Islamic Development Bank Group Chairman, H.E Dr Mohammed bin Sulaiman Al-Jasser. President Adama Barrow commended the Bank for the magnificent support provided to his Government, from the construction of the University of The Gambia Faraba Banta Campus to the Bertil Harding Highway and other flagship projects.
In acknowledging the ISDB Group's significant contribution to the country's development, President Barrow described the Bank as a "valued partner" towards realising his dream and vision for The Gambia.
In augmenting its great support to The Gambia, the Islamic Development Bank Group commits to extending and expanding another much-needed road infrastructure project in the Great Banjul Area
President Adama Barrow, in appreciation, thanked the IsDB and said, "The extension of the Bertil Harding Highway to Kafuta and an additional bypass bridge at the Sukuta Traffic Light Junction are highly welcomed projects." He also urged the Bank Chairman to explore the funding possibility of the bypass road from Banjul to the airport through a Public Private Partnership arrangement.
The IsDB Group Chairman, Dr Mohammed bin Sulaiman Al-Jasser, said the Bank showcased The Gambia as a success story in its portfolio because of the flagship projects such as the University of The Gambia and the Bertil Harding Highway achieved under what he called "the excellent leadership" of President Barrow. He added that the Islamic Development Bank is willing to collaborate with The Gambia to bring about more national development and prosperity for Gambians
In another engagement, President Barrow received the Saudi Minister of Environment, Agriculture and Water Resources, H.E. Abdulrahman Al-Fadhli and discussed bilateral cooperation and partnership in areas to strengthen food security and access to clean water in The Gambia.
President Barrow invited the Saudi Minister to cooperate in Agriculture investment and water resources, emphasising his Government's determination to provide Gambians with accessible and clean drinking water and enhance food security.
Minister Al-Fadhli welcomed the President's invitation and pledged his Ministry's willingness to send an Agriculture investment mission to The Gambia and have bilateral cooperation with The Gambia's Ministry of Water Resources. He offered to support the Ministry in sending a mission to study the Kingdom's Water Management System for production and distribution.
In his final engagement on Thursday, President Barrow held an audience with the Secretary General of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth - WAMY, Dr Saleh bin Sulaiman Al-Wohaibi. They discussed the plight of Muslim Youths, who form about 60% of the Muslim population and the need to provide skills for the youth through education and social amenities in their environment.
President Barrow took the opportunity and thanked WAMY for its work in The Gambia in providing wells, mosques and scholarships to students. It also supports the needy during Muslim festive periods with foodstuff.
Dr Al-Wohaibi said they are willing to support the needy through charitable acts as prescribed by Islam and mentioned that they will continue to do so with the support of their financiers and the appreciation of beneficiaries. In the Gambia, WAMY is also partnering with the Fatoumatta Bah- -Barrow Foundation - FaBB to complement the Government& apos;s effort to provide social amenities in communities.