By State House Media
The government of The Gambia has been favorably rated in almost all aspects of political and economic governance in studies supported by fourteen renowned global political and financial institutions, including the IMF, World Bank, and Freedom House.
The scorecard shows that The Gambia, under the leadership of President Adama Barrow, is deemed to be strongly adhering to the principles of good governance, promotion of democratic rights and economic freedom, and investing in the social welfare and wellbeing of the Gambia people.
The Gambia was rated 65% and above in more than half of the twenty indicators used.
The scorecard, which covers the 2019 fiscal year, revealed that the Barrow government made significant gains in controlling corruption, respecting and guaranteeing democratic rights, and investing in the health and wellbeing of citizens, particularly children.
The most significant score was registered in the areas of Health Expenditures, Government Effectiveness, Rule of Law, and Regulatory efficiency, marking 91%, 78%, 78%, and 80%, respectively. The Barrow government is ensuring that it is ruling justly to put the country on the right footing in protecting political rights, control of corruption, standing firm for effective governance and respect for the rule of law.
The Government continues to strive to provide for the needs and aspirations of a population of over two million (2,101,000) with a gross national index per capita of $450. The scorecard shows that the government performed strongly in the area of economic freedom by controlling inflation, providing a quality regulatory environment, mainstreaming gender in the economy and preserving land rights. The country investing in its people has also been rated high, 91% and 63% for its health and primary school education expenditures, respectively. The rate of immunization coverage has been pegged at 76%, child health at 69%, and girls’ primary school education completion at 51%.
The gender outlook regarding completion of girls’ education is positive. This could be further associated with expenditure in primary school education and the advocacy by government and civil society to protect and promote the rights of girl-children.
The advocacy against harmful traditional practices, such as early marriage, female genital mutilation, and sexual abuse, backed by strong government support, is key to providing protective environment for girls in particular; thus creating the environment for girls to complete their primary education.
However, on the economic front, the country would endeavor to improve its fiscal and trade policies as well as provide opportunities for access to credit and business start-ups. This could be related to the number young people who find it difficult to have collateral to access loan and initiate their own business. The number of returnees from illegal migration and limited number of young Gambians in unskilled areas has impact on access to credit and business start-ups.
This rating on the Gambia was revealed in a multi-sectoral scorecard by the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, World Economic Organisation, Brookings Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI), International Fund for Agricultural Development-(IFAD) / IFC, Freedom House/ CLD, WHO, UNESCO, UNICEF, and CIESIN/YCELP.
Statement of the Spokeswoman, Office of the Presidency
The Office of President highly welcomes the progressive facts displayed by the scorecard. It is a big vote of confidence in the Barrow government by world renowned independent financial and political institutions. Most importantly, it highlights the seriousness of the Barrow government to meaningfully transform the lives and livelihood of all Gambians. Although we are highly encouraged by the findings, we are equally humbled and fired up to never relent in delivering beyond the expectations of all and sundry in The Gambia.
Using the National Development Plan, the Barrow government would continue to implement progressive and effective economic and political policies that would bring real changes in the lives of ordinary Gambians.
Regarding the gap in access to information, the Office the President is quite optimistic that the new Information and Communication Act being drafted would address some of the challenges. It is expected that with more civic education people would understand their rights and responsibilities in a democracy.
In the area of protecting our natural resources, the government has put in place legal mechanisms, among others, to protect our natural resources from corporate overreach. Nevertheless, efforts would be made to improve enforcement.
The Office of the President urges all Gambians to remain determined and work positively towards achieving good governance and accountability, social cohesion and national reconciliation, and a transformed economy for the wellbeing of all Gambians as stated in the National Development Plan 2018—2021. In the same vein, we encouraged commercial banks to work with young people to support start-up businesses.