WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2016

The Gambia President Jammeh meets with top World Bank official

The Gambia President Yahya Jammeh recently met with top officials from the World Bank to discuss health and other issues.

The Country Director of the World Bank for Senegal, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau and Mauritania Vera Songwe roundly praised The Gambia's accelerated growth strategy and progress toward its Millennium Development Goals while meeting with Jammeh at the State House in Banjul, the Observer reports.

Songwe and Jammeh discussed numerous issues, including infrastructure, education, agriculture and health. After the closed-door meeting, Songwe said that other matters discussed included The Gambia's accelerated growth strategy and how the World Bank can leverage the input it is putting into the country.

"How we can improve on agricultural production and productivity of The Gambia and to make sure that we increase the amount of irrigable land and increase the amount of production," Songwe said, adding that for the World Bank as an institution, one of its new mandates is to understand how best it can improve the prosperity of the population and that part of that is through the provision of more food directly to [the population.]

"You know that The Gambia's growth is directly linked to production in agriculture, so helping will enhance that," Songwe said, according to the Observer. "We also know that 70 percent of the agricultural work is done by women to make sure that not only can they produce food but they can also produce food that is nutritious for them and their kids. So clearly we have been talking about the education and skills."

Songwe also praised The Gambia for its continued progress in meeting its Millennium Development Goals, saying that the country has made great strides.

"We can do a lot more on quality to make sure that not only you have access but you have quality because as The Gambia becomes an increasing tourist destination we are going to need more skills," Songwe said, the Observer reports.