Alagi Yorro Jallow

Fatoumatta: Despite the World Bank and IMF reports, The Gambia has accrued a massive international debt of US$1.6 billion. Addressing Gambians in his speech at the end of the year, President Adama Barrow underlined the heavy debt inherited from his predecessor President Yahya Jammeh.

“A debt of more than a billion dollars, or an astronomical rate of 120% of GDP” accounting for debt service of 25% of the total GDP, which is further stifling economic growth.

Fatoumatta: The Gambian economy is burdened with pervasive illegal practices in the financial and banking sectors, which is exacerbated by pervasive corruption, chronic lack of accountability, money laundering, infusing illicit money into the economy. But another failure of the Gambian economy, is its dependence on foreign aid, rather than investment, as the primary engine for economic growth.

Fatoumatta: The Gambia’s debt at US$1.6 billion (I don’t know how many zeros of Dalasis that is). The country owed foreign countries and the two brothers (IMF and World Bank) debt borrowed during the Kairaba Jawara and Yahya Jammeh days.

Adama Barrow must pay these debts if we as Gambians were to have a greater chance of developing our country. So Adama Barrow must embark on national austerity measures aimed at reducing wastage and engaged donors (with the help of NGOs) to cancel our debt. And if paid off. Gambia’s international debt will be cancelled and reduced to zero!

Now Fatoumatta! The Gambia’s foreign debt has risen to US$1.8 billion and rising as plans are underway to borrow more before the sun sets this year! The tactical government of Adama Barrow is borrowing from the Arabs, the Chinese and, hopefully from the Russians and Iranians. The government has also entered the local market to borrow from local banks and private citizens.

The end results? Are we worse than the Sir Dawda and Yahya days! Let Adama Barrow show us how to pay this debt in another two or five years