Dr Isatou Touray, minister of Trade and Regional Integration has assured Gambians
in Norway that the Coalition government is working hard for Gambia’s interest above
party or individual interest. She said they came as a coalition that transcend their
party interests and work together for the country’s interest.
“Efforts are being made to ensure that we have democracy, freedom of expression,
security reforms, and reforms in all other sectors, economic development, and energy
crisis, etc,” said Trade minister Dr Touray.
She made these remarks yesterday during her dialogue with the Gambians in Norway
as part of activities marking her official visit. She added that efforts are being made in
the right direction to solve the country’s energy crisis. Energy, she went on, is key to
investment, health, education, agriculture, and all other sectors of development.
“We are taking a very sustainable approach towards solving the electricity crisis. We
are gradually moving forward and we will decentralize development projects.
Gambians should learn to be a little bit patient because we inherited a country that has
been destroyed fro 22 years and if we want to fix all the mess in just 9 months, it is
not possible. Processes and procedures must be followed to get good effects and
impacts of development,” she remarked.
She gave an example of the Janneh Commission, which she said is a form of healing
the wounds but they are not witch hunting anybody. “It is a platform as one of the
principles of democracy,” she remarked.
Dr Touray also used the occasion to clarify her stance in the Coalition 2016 Team that
won the last year presidential election and her participation as the country’s first
female presidential candidate.
She said: “I came out to say we cannot afford to be under this oppression for 22 years.
I came with that resolve and commitment for the sake of the young people and for
myself for having being a victim of the dictatorship under Yaya Jammeh. I stood up
for change, I stood for the people and the Gambia, just to ensure that Yahya Jammeh
is out. I have never boycotted the Coalition. I came to change the architecture of the
Also addressing Gambians in Norway, Momodou O. Njie, Permanent Secretary at the
Ministry of Energy, said he was once living in Norway. He revealed that there will
soon be a bilateral relation between The Gambia and Norway and a consular will be
appointed to be in charge of the affairs of Gambians in Norway.
He recalled their horrible experience under dictator Yaya Jammeh’s regime, saying all
of them in this trip, ie, himself , Dr Isatou Toray and PS Naffie Barry were in prison
at one time.
For her part, Naffie Barry, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Trade, said there
will be an institutional reform, just like it has already been done in the security sector.
“There will also be a donor’s conference for Gambia’s development and it will be
done in one country in abroad where there are many investors,” she said.
Ndey Jobarteh of the Gambia House project in Norway moderated the programme.