Press Release: Banjul, 11th January 2023
The Government of The Gambia and the European Commission had on Wednesday 4th January 2023 signed three financing agreements in support of the country’s Democratic Transition, Security Sector Reforms, and Technical Assistance.
The first one, for a total of EUR 9 million will be implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). It has three main objectives: I) to have the Constitution and legislation better provide for checks and balances, protect human rights and fundamental freedoms including rights of minorities and groups living in vulnerable situations; ii) to enhance the effectiveness of transitional justice, rule of law and human rights mechanisms; and iii) to strengthen the effectiveness of local governance structures.
The second one, for a total of EUR 6 million devoted to deepening the EU’s support to the security sector reform, especially with a view to ensuring security at the individual and community level. This action will be implemented by the German Development Agency (GIZ) on the one hand, and by the Geneva Center for Security Sector Governance (DCAF) on the other. The main objectives of this action are I) to provide improved security that complies with norms and good practices, including human rights and gender equality by the Gambia Police Force; ii) to enhance the capacity and effectiveness of selected Gambian police stations outside the Greater Banjul and their police staff. It also aims, overall, at strengthening internal and external accountability of security sector actors, which will eventually contribute to enhancing migration management such as border management and countering migrant smuggling and trafficking of human beings.
The third action is a technical and financial facility for an amount of EUR 3 million that will support the fielding of studies, evaluations et al. in order to facilitate the implementation of the EU-Gambia Multiannual Indicative Program 2021-2027. It also marks the turning of the well-known “NAOSU” (National Authorizing Officer Support Unit) into an “EU-Gambia Partnership Office.
EU Ambassador and Head of Delegation Corrado Pampaloni underlined that: “with these new, very timely, agreements, the EU and The Gambia make another step in deepening the democratic transition of the country, namely: the security sector reform process that necessitates a new impetus. The new EU- Gambia Partnership Office also reflects the broadening and densification of our relationship, beyond development cooperation.”
Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Honourable Seedy K.M. Keita on his part declared that: “the technical and financial support offered by the European Commission is a testimony of the true friendship and cordial bilateral relationship between the two parties. These agreements are timely and will help fast track the transition efforts of the financed actions”. He used the occasion to thank the Commission for its unflinching support of The Gambia’s democratic transition and security sector reform processes.