Gambia: Donors Pledge 956 billion FCFA For Entrenching Democracy
The Brussels conference on May 22, 2018 was also to promote sustainable economic development.
The Gambia and the European Union, EU on May 22, 2018 in Brussels, Belgium hosted an international donor conference that assembled delegates from 43 countries and 10 international organizations. They included EU member states, the United Nations, UN, the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS and China. At the end, 1.71 billion US Dollars (956 billion FCFA) was raised.
The EU said the money will assist The Gambia in “continuing its democratic transition, building on strong democratic institutions, the respect of human rights and the rule of law, and sustainable and shared economic growth.” As co-chair of the international conference, the European Union offered the lion's share of 140 million Euros (92 billion FCFA). This was in addition to the previously pledged amount of 225 million Euros (147 billion FCFA).
Gambian President Adama Barrow described the conference as “historic,’’ adding that “it demonstrated the global support for The Gambia’s return to democratic rule.” He said his government was committed to stabilising the economy, strengthening democracy and investing in development. “Together, we stand by your country as it continues to ensure that the benefits of democracy are shared by all Gambians and inspire other countries to take a peaceful path from hardship to hope,” European Development Commissioner, Neven Mimica, told Barrow.
President Adama Barrow came to power in 2017, replacing Yahya Jammeh who ruled for 22 years. Adama won the December 2016 presidential election, in which Jammeh initially conceded defeat, but later reneged. He was eventually forced to relinquish power after pressure from the regional bloc, ECOWAS, paving way for Adama Barrow’s inauguration in February 2017.