Gambia president struggles with economic growth in 2017

As Gambia celebrates year of toppling of ex-dictator Jammeh, critics say his replacement Barrow is yet to change fortunes

Gambia president struggles with economic growth in 2017

World Bulletin / News Desk

As Gambia celebrates a year of the toppling of former dictator Yahya Jammeh, critics and analysts say his replacement Adama Barrow has so far proved incapable to stimulate economic growth that has been stagnant for years.

Gambia, a small West African nation of 1.9 million people, is struggling with a rising public debt at 120 percent to gross domestic product and youth unemployment that stands at 38 percent.

A former minister and diplomat under Jammeh who later fell out with him, Sidi Sanneh, said Barrow had failed to deliver on his economic promises.

"Barrow has been delivering on his freedom and democracy promises. However, on the economic front, he's yet to deliver.

However, Sanneh, an active blogger and former minister, said: “It takes time to turn the economic ship around,"

Sanneh said Barrow needs a policy shift and good investment in public enterprises most of whom are bankrupt due to "fiscal indiscipline of the past regime".

"The reforms are lagging in certain areas, including the civil service and in the laws...," Essa Njie, lecturer at the political science department of Gambia University said.

Njie said even though a recent report by the IMF shows that the country's economy is doing well, an ordinary man on the street does not feel any change.

Meanwhile, not everyone believes Barrow has delivered on his promises of transparency.

Modou Cham, national mobiliser for the country’s biggest opposition party, Gambia Democratic Congress, said the new ruler is "secretive" and is not communicating with electorates.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 01 Ocak 2018, 00:53