By Landing Ceesay
President Adama Barrow is of the view that for Gambia to gain economic independence, the people must invest in the productive sectors, among others.
He made the remarks in his address at the Gambia’s 57th Independence anniversary after noting that the imbalance between imports and exports for the country is enormous, and the need to transform the population into a more productive resource.
“To free ourselves from economic dependence, among other strategies, we must invest more freely in the productive sectors, produce as much of what we consume as we need, and eat more home-made products. By the same token, we need to expand and patronise local businesses, while developing, encouraging and tapping local talent.
“A lot of potential to increase national income generation lies in organising our communities to set up joint businesses, engage in more productive ventures, and make the most of our natural resources. Old and ineffective approaches have to give way to greater application of technology and modern techniques of production,” Barrow said.
The Gambia leader is certain that his country could reduce its ‘heavy dependence’ on the outside world, despite his view that ‘absolute economic independence is impractical’.
“In this era, the dilemma of African countries largely remains the attainment of economic independence in an inter-dependent world. Like many other nations around the world, this is one of The Gambia’s major challenges. Although it is my view that absolute economic independence is impractical, it is certain that we can reduce our heavy dependence on the outside world,” he said.
Barrow said the solution for economic independence depends hugely on how practical they are and how far they choose to go in raising their productivity and production capabilities and outputs, while minimising imports and maximising exports.
The head of state further stated that Industrialisation is surely one of the key areas to promote and develop.
He added that they should work towards mechanising and diversifying agriculture, preserving and processing their produce, and changing their lifestyles to depend less on imported goods, especially imported food commodities.
The Gambia has today commemorated 57 years of nationhood since gaining independence from Great Britain on 18th February 1965.
The occasion that took place at the McCarthy Squad in Banjul and presided over by President Adama Barrow, attracted dignitaries from different walks-of-life.
It was characterised by the traditional march-past by various security forces in the country, schoolchildren, and local groups, among others.
This the sixth Independence anniversary of the Gambia, presided over by President Adama Barrow, following his election as president in 2017 and re-election in 2021, respectively.