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 Gambia voted for democratic change in December 2016, and the European Union and its Member States have invested extensively in the country's democratic transition to help propel the process forward. This engagement will be maintained, nurtured, and strategically targeted in the period 2021-2027.
The EU's cooperation with The Gambia for the period 2021-2027, will focus on three main areas:
Promoting Good Governance
Our continual support of the democratic transition processes that are ongoing in The Gambia, the transitional justice process and the capacities of the judiciary are essential for the country. The Security Sector Reform and the strategic policies framing this process were adopted at the end of 2020 and concrete steps are being taken. This is a long-term process and we will continue to support it. Among the security bodies, special attention will be given to strengthening services in charge of migration and border management, as well as police and navy capacities in countering migrant smuggling, human trafficking, and all relevant forms of trafficking and organised crime, and in addressing maritime security overall.
Green economy for sustainable growth and jobs
We will focus on cross-sectoral activities, identified in The Gambia’s Climate Change Priority Action Plan 2012-2015. Our aim is to contribute to the mainstreaming of climate change into the national development process, including climate change adaptation and disaster management in sectoral policies such as agriculture and natural resources, forest and fisheries. Moreover, we will support The Gambia’s climate policy framework.
Amongst our main goals for The Gambia’s future is human development within the framework of post-pandemic recovery to reinforce the social fabric and reduce inequalities. Education interventions will be instrumental in empowering the youth, women, and girls, increasing the ratio of female teachers, upgrading the curriculum and better integrating topics such as gender, environment and climate change, science and technology, migration, nutrition and information technologies.
Improved education can ultimately allow more Gambians to benefit from circular migration and academic mobility programmes toward the EU.
The Multiannual Indicative Programme (MIP) for The Gambia for 2021-2024 amounts to €119 million.
Priority area 1: ‘Promoting Good Governance Specific Objective’ aims to enhance democracy, rule of law, and the respect for human rights in The Gambia while building trust in the country’s security apparatus and increasing its alignment with the population’s national security needs.
Priority area 2: ‘Green economy for sustainable growth and jobs’ will focus on supporting a green and socially inclusive urban mobility, linking to the rural areas of the country so the sustainable development of local agro-food systems can be more effective in order to increase the competitiveness, inclusiveness, and sustainability of the tourism sector.
Priority area 3: ‘Human development’ aims to reduce gender disparities in enrolment, progression, and retention at all levels of education and lifelong learning for women, men, girls, and boys, in all of their diversity, and support inclusive job creation for all.
Finally, steps are being taken to ensure the population in the Greater Banjul Area has access to proper sanitation services and commences waste processing to improve water and air quality.