Ambassador Patricia Alsup

The US ambassador to the Gambia, Patricia Alsup, has commended the Gambia for regaining its membership in the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and for being selected for a smaller grant programme by the board of the US government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).

Ms Alsup said these milestone achievements are significant achievements that recognise just how much progress the Gambia has made since the transition to the Barrow administration.

“I look forward to working with the Gambian government and the Gambian people to ensure that these programs provide the intended boosts to the Gambia’s development,” she said.

As a member of AGOA, the Gambia will have duty-free access to the US on condition it meets certain statutory eligibility requirements, including eliminating barriers to US trade and investment and making progress toward political pluralism.

Also, as a beneficiary of the MCC’s smaller grant programme focused on policy and institutional reform, MCC will work with Gambian authorities to improve lives and transform communities by focusing on reducing poverty through economic growth.

Using a country-led approach that reflects a country’s own priorities, MCC will provide time-limited grants and assistance that meet rigorous standards for good governance, from fighting corruption to respecting democratic rights.

A team of MCC staff will travel to the Gambia in early 2018 to begin the process of developing the threshold programme.

MCC and the Government of the Gambia will then conduct a rigorous economic evaluation to determine the most significant factors constraining economic growth in the country.  That analysis will inform the development of MCC projects under the threshold program, which will focus on the policy and institutional constraints to growth.

The threshold programme development process lasts for 18 – 24 months, and also includes a consultative process, engaging civil society and the private sector.