The organisers of the Gambia’s First International Investment Forum in Spain have said the event is meant to raise funds for the government National Development Plan (NDP).

Speaking at press conference on Friday at State House in Banjul, Alhagie Nyangado director general of Strategic Policy and Delivery Department said Spain was chosen as the venue for the investment forum due to its vibrant agricultural production.

Nyangado and Sowe: the organisers of the investment forum in Spain

“One good thing about Spain is…it is very much into agriculture and the backbone of that country is agriculture, so we are going to Spain to be able to see how they are doing things differently and raise the additional grants that is needed for us to implement the NDP,” he said.

Mr Nyangado said they will discuss with both government and private sector in Spain about their success stories and the areas that The Gambia government will learn from their Spanish counterparts.

He pointed out that the forum is not a retreat for The Gambia government but that it is an investment event that the government is embarking on to raise additional funds for its development agenda.

He said the government had inherited a “very difficult economy from the previous regime”.

Mr Nyangado said the forum is not limited to only Spain but that their aim is to cover many countries across the world saying “this is all part of efforts to raise the needed additional resources to be able to implement the NDP.”

“The key critical infrastructure that government needs to embark on that comes through loans or government’s own grants and it’s not possible (at the moment) as I stated we are in a very difficult situation,” he said.

“The only avenue we have is to improve our activities on grants, and this particular forum is going to help us again to be able to discuss with our counterparts in Spain,” he added.

Ali Sowe, the forum general manager, said the Spanish government is committed to helping the Gambia saying “this is why we actually negotiated with the Spanish government and with other private investors readily available to support the Gambia and the National Development Plan.”

The investment forum is scheduled for October 2019 in the Spanish capital Madrid. According to the organisers an advance team will leave Banjul next week to prepare the groundwork in Madrid.

Reporting by Adama Makasuba

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