The Gambia is the smallest country within mainland Africa. It is a low-income country currently experiencing a major political and economic transition. The situation concerning poverty, human rights, democracy and the rule of law raises real concerns. The Gambia also ranks high in terms of gender inequality.
The EU is committed to supporting democratic transition and has stepped up its cooperation with The Gambia, in line with the priorities of the new government and in view of encouraging democracy, respect of human rights and the rule of law.
The EU supports the development priorities defined by the government of The Gambia, focusing on:
- agriculture for economic growth and food security/nutrition
- exit strategy for the transport sector
- governance/rule of law/security
- inclusive sustainable growth and jobs
- renewable Energy/Climate Change/Infrastructures.
The 11th European Development Fund (EDF) National Indicative Programme (NIP) allocated €150 million for the 2014-2020 funding period (a €100 million top-up was approved by the Commission in January 2018). The focal sectors are:
Agriculture for economic growth and food security/nutrition – specific objectives include:
- increased agricultural productivity and diversification
- increased participation of the most vulnerable smallholders
- crisis management and prevention strategies
Exit strategy to the transport sector – a short-term exit strategy to consolidate the work already done through previous EDF funding. Specific objectives include:
- capacity building for the road sector
- supporting the implementation of the Economic Community of West African States’ (ECOWAS) rules on axle load control, among others
Governance/Rule of law/Security/Gender – to support the transition, security and stabilisation of the country and improve the rule of law and human rights situation.
Inclusive Sustainable Growth and job creation – specific priorities include:
- creation of jobs, in particular for youth
- projects linking sup the agriculture and tourism sectors and the aquaculture and fisheries and agri-business sectors
- supporting small industrialisation programmes to boost employment
Renewable energy/Climate change/Infrastructures – to contribute to The Gambia's economic and social development through access to sustainable energy, improved transportation and access to the market.
Energy – to achieve a more significant penetration of renewable energy in the national mix and reduce barriers to national and regional trade and increase access to market of agriculture products.
All EU programmes in The Gambia address poverty-related cross-cutting issues, in particular gender equality, HIV/AIDS, environmental sustainability, good governance and human rights – especially children's rights – as well as nutrition and health.