Sharon Wardle the British High Commissioner to The Gambia has said the bilateral ties between Banjul and London is bright, noting the country has genuine opportunity to set a more positive path.
The British High Commissioner made these remarks in an exclusive interview with West Africa Democracy Radio.
Asked what she makes of the bilateral ties between the two countries, the diplomat responded in the positive.
“For me it feels very bright, I have been in The Gambia for less than a year, next month will be my first anniversary,” she said. “As you mentioned before, I have served in many different countries, this is the first time for a number of years that I have arrived somewhere, where I feel there is a genuine opportunity to set a more positive path for The Gambia’s future.”
However, she said, to transform this genuine opportunity the government has a role to play.
“The government cannot afford to be complacent; the Gambia’s success will depend on how the government and the people decide to seize that opportunity,” she explained.
The British envoy to The Gambia said they are working with this government on different sectors to reflect and to further strengthen the good ties between the two nations.
“We have been able to embark on areas of security cooperation; our Chevening Scholarship Programme is growing from strength to strength; we have more scholarships now than we used to in the past and there have been some amazing work going on between the Westminster Foundation for Democracy; the UK’s Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and the National Assembly to help create a stronger, democratic, beating heart for The Gambia.”
“I am really confident that these areas of cooperation will continue to expand but we spoke about the Faraba incident before, there is no room for complacency, now is the time for The Gambia whether through its constitutional reform, putting in a new legislation to protect freedom of expression and really living up to the high level of commitment that has been made around human rights and good governance.”
“With all the parts coming together, I am optimistic but we got a busy job ahead of us, we need to work hard on this,” Madam Wardle noted.
Author: Sankulleh Gibril Janko