09 Dec Barrow promises to create Bank for Gambian women
President Adama Barrow has reaffirmed his commitment to women empowerment, saying his government is working on creating a new bank for Gambian women to enable them access finance.
“My government has always supported and will continue to support the cause of women empowerment in the country,” the President said during a press conference at State House in Banjul.
“We have budgetary allocation for women but we want to go further and increase the amount. We are even planning to open a Bank for the country’s women because they are the vulnerable group and their access to finance is very difficult and to meet the conditions of banks is very difficult as well.”
The President further said: “So, their chances to access loans are very difficult. Therefore, the government should come in and support them. The youths are the leaders of tomorrow and form the majority; thus, it is important that we support them. We normally allocate Ten million dalasis, but we want to do more because it is not enough. We want to support all and no one will be left behind.”
Commenting on his assessment on the just concluded nationwide meet the people’s tour, the President described the tour as “successful”, saying: “It enables me to meet and interact with Gambians from all diversity and listen to concerns with a view to addressing them.
“All the concerns raised by Gambians across the country have been noted and we will be working on addressing them. Overall, it is a very good tour. We are happy because we feel that the communities that we visited recognise the efforts the government is making, especially in social projects. We have completed some projects and we have also started some projects. That have given hope to the communities that we visited.”
President Barrow reiterated the need for Gambians to put aside their political differences and work together for nation building. “I am more than willing to sit down with the opposition and discuss with them about the development of this country,” he said. “This country belongs to all of us – whether you are in the ruling party or in the opposition. The development of this country should be a priority for all of us.
“Therefore, as a Head of State, it should be my responsibility and it should be part of my principle to listen to all Gambians. In fact, that will go a long way in helping me in doing my job. The projects that we are doing countrywide are for all Gambians. We are not distinguishing as to whether you are an opposition or the ruling government in our developmental projects. The world is moving and the Gambia will also move.”
Commenting on the Nationwide Operation Clear the roads initiative aimed at clearing illegal structures on the highway, President Barrow said: “Yes it is true that there are a lot of complaints going on in the country as a result of the operation. But people also need to understand that we can’t govern this country just anyhow people want it to be. We have to follow due process and the law. It’s part of the government’s responsibility to build a market and create an environment for business, which the government is doing. I can tell you that some of these women are sitting on the roads and doing business in the markets. The markets are empty.”
He went on: “I have also talked to senior government officials and we are looking at the Brusubi market. The market has a large space and we will be inviting the women vendors to be doing business in that market.”
Short-term plans to address public concerns
The Gambian leader also reaffirmed the government’s commitment to addressing the concerns raised by Gambians during the just concluded nationwide tour.
“We have short-term plans in solving most of the concerns raised during the tour,” he said, adding: “We have commissioned many water projects during the tour, which will go a long way in addressing water shortage some communities have been encountering. These are big water projects that will be serving thousands of inhabitants with the capacity of 50 thousand litres,”
Concluding, he said: “The government will be constructing about 132 water boreholes in the country.”
Source: The Point