A mission from the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) headed by Mr. Ahmed Sidiya, Acting Head of Follow-up Unit /Mission Lead, on the 21st June 2022 visited The Gambia for a period of nine days. The Mission team was received by officials of the Directorate of Aid Coordination of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs.
The purpose of the mission was to appraise Phase II of the University of The Gambia Project and make a follow-up on the ongoing operations and discuss the pipeline of new operations.
In Banjul, the mission held a meeting with the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Honourable Seedy Keita, who welcomed them and confirmed the strong relationship between the government of The Gambia and BADEA. He expressed gratitude to the mission for their prompt response to appraise the said project following his encounter with BADEA at the sidelines of the Annual Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group’s meeting in Sharm Elsheikh, Egypt in early June 2022. In the meeting, the Honourable Minister expressed interest in having a high-level country programming mission for The Gambia with the Bank.
As part of their itinerary, the mission also held a meeting with the Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, Honourable Pierre Gomez who welcomed them and emphasized the importance of the University of The Gambia Project to the people of the country and assured them of government’s commitment to completing the Lot I of the Fixed Package of the University of The Gambia Project by September 2022. He expressed appreciation to the financiers for their prompt support in appraising Phase II of the project, a cost of which is estimated at $24 million. The team when further to meet with implementing agencies responsible for the ongoing operations in The Gambia.
Similarly, a project site visit was conducted to follow up on the progress of Lot I of the Fixed Package of the project (University of The Gambia Project). They observed that the construction of the buildings is substantially completed but with painting, steel structures, wastewater treatment plant, and the supply of furniture and equipment being the only works remaining. According to the project officials and that of MoHERST, the government is doing its best to ensure that the project is completed by October 2022.
Relatedly, a follow-up meeting was also held between the National Roads Authority (NRA) and the mission to check on the progress of the widening of the Bertil Herding Highway project. The NRA conveyed that the progress of implementation has reached 19% as of May 2022 and the rate by end of December 2022 is expected to reach 33%. NRA disclosed that the final completion of phase 1 is expected to be in June 2023 and phase 2 by April 2024. Other project sites relevant to their funding were also visited and assessed.
The team concluded its mission with the signing of an aide memoir with the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, Mr. Abdoulie Jallow on behalf of the Honourable Minister,