Gambia-Taiwan relations exceed cheque-book diplomacy: -Minister Bah
Thursday, October 04, 2012
The secretary general and head of the Civil Service who is also the minister for Presidential Affairs and National Assembly Matters has described Gambia-Taiwan relations as not just based on money or cheque-book diplomacy but “what we share” and believe, despite being a small nation. “The two countries will continue to work together in strengthening the cooperation between them,” referring to The Gambia and Taiwan.
Dr Njogu Bah made this remark on Wednesday afternoon in his office at State House while receiving a cheque of US$300, 000 donated by the government of Taiwan, as the final part payment of the US$600, 000 grant allocated to the health sector by the Taiwan government. The presentation, which is the second of its kind since the beginning of the year to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, is meant to help the Gambia government recruit Cuban doctors and facilitate the payment of the Gambian medical students studying medicine in Ghana.
In acknowledgement of their continuous support, SG Bah thanked the government of Taiwan for their continuous support and friendship. “We have gathered here on several occasions where you have showed solidarity, support, and collaboration. You believed that our partnership is a genuine one where we stand side by side which you have demonstrated on several occasions,” he said, while noting that the gesture will go a long way in addressing the various challenges being faced by the Health Ministry.
He added: “It would be felt in many of the areas in the sector that needs support. We all know the contribution and priority President Jammeh has given to the health sector and from day one he has been focused on the set goal for providing health care to the doorstep of everybody with low cost and accessibility.”
According to him, President Jammeh has invested so much in the health sector and the government of Taiwan has been supporting him on that venture. “So on his behalf, the entire people and the government of The Gambia, I wish to thank you once again for all the gestures and generosities. We want to re-assure you that we will continue to be there for you and support you wherever we are needed,” he concluded.
For his part, the Taiwanese ambassador to The Gambia, Samuel Chen, expressed delight to present the donation to the Gambian authorities. “I am very much honoured to be here and present on behalf of my government the medical funding. I must explain that every year the government of Taiwan offers medical funding totaling US$600, 000 and this is that part payment. We have presented the first part payment of US$300, 000 which is to cover expenses of the beneficiaries from January to June this year. This is important because the health sector is a very important priority area of President Jammeh and my government has made this an annual grant to help The Gambia boost its medical sector,” he said.Dr Mackie Taal, the permanent secretary, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, equally thanked the Taiwanese government for its continuous support to the health sector, adding that the donation will go a long way in helping the sector.
Author: by Musa Ndow