A team of German investors led by Johannes Selleh, a German Member of Parliament, Tuesday paid a courtesy call on President Barrow of the Gambia at State House, Banjul.
The delegation consists of business people in various sphere of development including agriculture, infrastructure, energy, development finance, sports business and expressed interest in exploring the opportunities available in the country.
Receiving the delegation, President Barrow informed them that while all sectors need attention, energy, agriculture, tourism, health and infrastructural development are amongst the top priorities. The President elaborated that the market for rice production is available as only 13% of the rice consumed is grown in the country. He further noted that infrastructural development will provide access to The Gambia and open other areas such as tourism to the hinterland.
The Gambian leader said health care access is also linked to good infrastructure and that energy is key in all these. He called on the Germans businessmen to consider the opportunities in value added production which would provide access to other markets in the region. He added that would create job opportunities for young people and curb illegal migration. “The reason young people are going through the ‘backway’ is because they are not engaged in viable economic activities”, said President Barrow.
He assured the Germans that The Gambia is ready to have partners who would support its national development agenda. The President concluded by inviting the Germans to support The Gambia in its drive to the realisation of its National Development Plan – (NDP) 2018-2021.
For his part Johannes Selleh, said they were motivated to visit the Gambia due to the shared democratic values and the struggle for prosperity. He added that the visit of the German president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, last December was another motivating factor. Mr Selleh said their visit gave them a better understanding of the infrastructural needs of the country and would explore the possibility of public private partnership in The Gambia.
Judith Helfmann-Hundack, a Foreign Trade and Development Policy and Development Cooperation adviser of German Africa Business Association, said they are interested in engaging in the Gambia and it was important to know that President Barrow was keen on the priority areas of the National Development Plan. She added that their visit to other parts of the country gave them insight into areas for partnership with the private sector.