A step towards integration
Thursday, June 07, 2012
It is heart-warming to hear that The Gambia has secured
funding from the Africa Development Bank for the construction of the much
anticipated Trans-Gambia bridge project. The development is indeed a step
towards regional integration and shows the commitment of the government in
matching words with deeds as far as the growth and development of the country
and Africa at large is concerned.
Regional integration in its broad sense refers to the merger of the means of production, distribution and exchange of individual nations into a single community. The process entails connection of transportation, communication, infrastructure and all other tools that accompany the integration process. The ultimate goal of integration for the sub-region and Africa at large is to make the phenomena of underdevelopment and poverty that has characterised the continent for centuries a thing of the past.
It cannot be argued otherwise that bridging the Bambatenda-Yellitenda crossingwill provide important link to both North and South of The Gambia and Senegal as well as the sub-region. The construction of the bridge will further enhance regional trade through opening up of an important historical trading route in the Sahel.
The facility will also support the implementation of the Gambia National Development Programme - The Programme for Accelerated Growth and Employment (PAGE), which succeeded the PRSPII. It has the potential to support macroeconomic stabilisation, greater public sector efficiency and accountability which by themselves can provide the adequate setting for the reduction of poverty and socio-economic inequalities through agriculture, private sector, infrastructure and human resources development.
There is also no doubt that the budget support operation
will help government deliver its development programmes and respond to global
financial and economic shocks, particularly the crop failure emergency.
The approval of funding for the construction of the bridge therefore confirms the confidence that the AfDB has in the policies and economic management of the country. We finally commend both parties for taking a tangible step towards integration.
Author: Daily Observer