By: Kebba AF Touray

The Gambian President, Adama Barrow said Thursday US$3.5 million has been secured, by his government for the transformation of Gambia Technical Training Institute into a University.

He said this during his address to the nation at the legislative house in Banjul on Thursday 19th September 2019.

He said: “Under the African Center of Excellence Project, the government will shortly access US$12 million for infrastructure and capacity development.”

He averred: “Another US$3.5 million has been secured from UNESCO to transform The Gambia Technical Training Institute, into a university”.

He added that the education sector continues to receive massive support from the University of Brussels and MRC Holland.

He said four bills relating to UTG, GTTI, MDI and NAQAA, will soon be presented before the National Assembly for review and approval.

He said the economy grew by 4.8 percent in 2017 and has improved to 6.5 percent in 2018, whereas the exchange rate of the dalasi remains broadly stable.

This, he said, is supported by market confidence and an increased-inflows from private remittances, higher resistance from tourism and official inflows from development partners.

He also said government fiscal operations, for the first six months of 2019, indicated that total revenue and grants stood at 9.8 percent of GDP, compared to 8.6 percent of GDP in the same period last year.

He continued: “Balance of payments estimates indicate that the current account deficit narrowed to1.5 percent of GDP in the first half of 2019, compared to a deficit of 1.7 percent of GDP in the corresponding quarter in 2018.”

He added the improvement in the current account balance is attributed to the increased in foreign inflows, related to the support from the development partners, diaspora remittances and tourism.

He also disclosed that gross international reserves, is projected at four months imports of next year’s imports of goods and services.

He said total expenditure and net lending has declined from 11.5 percent of GDP a year ago to 10 percent of GDP in the first part of 2019.

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