His Excellency, President Adama Barrow wrapped up his three-day State Visit in Qatar meeting with a large cross-section of the Gambian community, where he reiterated the need for the collective participation of all Gambians in the development and progress of the country.
“My government is committed to providing solutions to some of the challenges we inherited when Gambians voted us into office. We need every citizen to work hard in order to take the country to where we collectively desire,” The President told the gathering.
The meeting also discussed the situation of Gambians in Qatar – numbering over 900 – as well as current social and political developments in The Gambia.
President Barrow advised the Gambian community in the gulf state to continue to unite and set meaningful objectives for the benefit of all members. “Develop the habit of saving to support each other during difficult times. Support your families and develop your homes so as to prepare you for when you return, because home will always be home, no matter how long you are away,” he added, urging them to continue remaining civil and law-abiding which earn them the respect of the Qatari government.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Mamadou Tangara encouraged the community to uphold the principles of discipline and education. “Education and discipline are what propels a nation’s development. There is a lot we can learn from this country,” he told them.
Minister of Information and Communications, Ebrima Sillah informed them that his office would encourage the telecoms operators in The Gambia to sign carrier partnerships with service providers in Qatar to ensure affordable international call rates to The Gambia.
Meanwhile, representatives of the Gambian community in Qatar spoke highly of the Gambian Ambassador to Doha, Mr. Foday Malang. They described him and his staff as dedicated to the welfare of the community.
“A community of 900 Gambians is not negligible. Hence the government places a high premium on its diaspora by recognising them as the eight regions of the country,” Ambassador Malang told the gathering, noting their concerns will be looked into.
Malick Mass Njie, one of the executive members of the Gambian association in Qatar pleaded with the presidential delegation to encourage more partnerships that would create more job opportunities for Gambians in Qatar.
“Thousands of job opportunities exist here, especially in the hospitality industry. Some 60, 000 hotel rooms are being built for the upcoming 2022 World Cup games in Doha. The teeming workers in the industry, plus graduates from the hospitality institute in Banjul can supply employees to hotels here,” he said.
Earlier on Thursday, President Barrow met with the Chairperson of the Qatar Fund for Development, H.E. Mr. Khalifa Al-Kuwari and discussed the government’s development plan. The Gambia needs the support of Qatar to consolidate gains in key areas like education, communication, hospitality, and infrastructure.
A site visit was also conducted at the premises of the Qatar Foundation, known as Qatar Knowledge Centre, where over five different universities are housed. The president spoke on the value of education to Gambia’s development endeavours, noting that it is a priority area in the NDP.
On separate meetings, President Barrow also met with the Chairman of the Qatar Chamber of Commerce, H.E Sheikh Khalifa Bin Jassem Bin Mohammed Al Thani, Attorney General, H E Dr. Ali bin Fetais Al Marr, and the Chairman of the Katari Hospitality, Mr. Nawaf bin Jassim Al-Thani.