By: Kebba AF Touray
The People’s Republic of China, through its embassy in The Gambia, last Thursday donated two vehicles to the Gambian National Assembly.
Ma Jianchun, Chinese Ambassador to the Gambia, said the two sides have been making fruitful exchanges and cooperation and established a bilateral friendship group between each other.
He decried that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is difficult to carry out face to face exchanges. However, the two sides have been making exchanges in innovative ways in the promotion of the cooperation and relations between the two states and legislatures, he added.
Jianchum, on behalf of the People’s Congress of China, expressed that the two vehicles will facilitate the smooth execution of the works of the legislature. He also hoped that the two legislatures will continue to play critical roles in improving and promoting cooperation between Banjul and Beijing, as well as improving the wellbeing of the people of the states.
Assembly speaker, Mariam Jack Denton, expressed gratitude to the People’s Republic of China for the gesture as well as its support to the development activities of the Gambia.
She recalled that during their meetings, the constraints of vehicles have been highlighted as the assembly’s major challenge, saying the provision of the vehicles will address the problem of mobility challenges confronting the assembly.
“I wish to express my profound gratitude and appreciation to China. These buses will go a long way in complementing the efforts of the national assembly in strengthening the oversight functions of the lawmakers,” she said.
Madam Jack pointed out that this is not the first time they are receiving such a gesture from China, stating that during the opening of the fifth legislature, China invited some of them to China where they discussed a lot of issues with their Chinese counterparts. Primary among them was how they could help enhance the capacity of the national assembly members and the staff.
“I must say China was the first to boost the capacity of the current legislature, through the provision of computers and IT accessories as well as printers and until today, we are still using that equipment,” she said.
She assured that the parliamentary groups will endeavor to continue to work closely with their Chinese counterparts to further cement the already cordial relations between the two legislatures.
She further said that when the pandemic struck, China was the first to help the national assembly with sanitizers, face masks and that when the vaccine was first discovered, they were the first to provide the vaccine for the country.
While assuring China that the vehicles will be put into good use, she extended appreciation and thanks to China and their other partners for their support to the assembly.