By Kebba Jeffang
Gambian President Adama Barrow held talks with visiting German investors at State House on Tuesday 27 March 2018, a news release from the presidency stated.
The delegation was led by German Member of Parliament, Mr Johannes Selleh, and they paid a courtesy call on President Barrow.
The delegation consists of business persons in various spheres of development including agriculture, infrastructure, energy, and development finance and sport business. The delegation expressed interest in exploring the opportunities available in the country.
Mr. Barrow emphasised that while all sectors need attention, energy, agriculture, tourism, health and infrastructure development are amongst the top priorities of his Government; that the market for rice production is available as only 13% of the rice consumed is grown in the country; that infrastructural development will provide access to The Gambia and open other areas such as tourism in the hinterland.
According to the statement, The Gambian leader said health care access is also linked to good infrastructure and that energy is key. He called on the Germans businessmen to consider the opportunities in value added production which would provide access to other markets in the region; that this would create job opportunities for young people and curb illegal migration.
"The reason young people are going through the 'backway', is because they are not engaged in viable economic activities", said Barrow.
He assured the German delegation that The Gambia is ready to have partners who would support its national development agenda and invited them to support The Gambia in her drive to realize the National Development Plan.
Meanwhile the head of delegation Mr. Selleh, said the shared democratic values and the struggle for prosperity, motivated them to visit the country; that the visit of the German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier last December, was another motivating factor for their visit.
The German parliamentarian added that their visit gave them a better understanding of the infrastructural needs of the country; that they would explore the possibility of public- private partnership in The Gambia.
Foreign Trade and Development Policy and Development Cooperation Adviser Judith Helfmann-Hundack of the German Africa Business Association, said they are interested in engagements in the Gambia; that their visit to other parts of the country gave them insight into areas for partnership with the private sector.