By Awa B. Bah
Deputies at the National Assembly on Wednesday 4th October 2017, considered and adopted the Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group between the National Assembly of the Gambia and the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China.
The motion to consider and adopt this Parliamentary Friendship Group was moved by Hon. Alhagie Mbow, the member for Upper Saloum Constituency in theNational Assembly. Hon. Mbow in his motion said the Gambia and the People’s Republic of China share many things in common despite geographical boundaries; that notable among this was the excellent diplomatic and historic development cooperation between the two countries. With the establishment of an inter-parliamentary friendship group, Hon. Mbow said the two legislative bodies shall further cement these political, diplomatic, cultural, development and other mutual cooperation. This he said shall enhance practical frameworks of cooperation in sharing various diplomatic experiences in key areas of governance, legislative support, technical development assistance and exchange of programs among others; that the two sides will support the other on issues of mutual interest that is both bi and multilateral.
‘‘China as a developed country, has great potentials to enhance the Gambia’s key sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, infrastructure and tourism. The two legislatures can provide both legal and policy support for these pragmatic cooperation, to benefit our two peoples,’’ he said.
Appreciating and recognizing that the relation between the two legislatures are an important part of bilateral ties, he said the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China, is willing to work with the National Assembly of the Gambia, to contribute to the development of bilateral, friendly and cooperative relations. The mandate of the Friendship Group he said is to foster Inter-Parliamentary relations and to further contribute to the development of the bilateral and cooperative relations between the two countries, as well as serve as the link between the two legislatures on all cooperation and support. The Friendship Group he said, shall consist of a chairperson and eight other members and the membership of the committee shall be nominated by the Committee of Selection. With these remarks Mbow urged his counterparts to consider and adopt the motion.
The speaker in her contribution said the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the Gambia has paid a courtesy call to the National Assembly two months ago; that it was after this courtesy call that the Ambassador reached out to Beijing and that at the invitation of the Chairman of the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China, that the National Assembly of the Gambia was invited; that during their discussion, the Chinese Ambassador said the trip is all inclusive and will be at no cost to Gambia Government.
At that juncture, the floor was opened for debate and comments for consideration on the Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group between the National Assembly of the Gambia and the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China. 75% of members supported the motion noting that a developing country needs to ally herself with the developed countries such as The People’s Republic of China. The NAMs welcomed the idea of establishing the group between the Gambia’s parliament and the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China.
Hon. Mbow member thanked his colleagues for their comments and recommendations on the motion. He also thanked the Chinese Ambassador to the Gambia for facilitating their visit to China. He said issues relating to the establishment of the group will be tabled before deputies for comments and considerations.
The establishment of an Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group was finally adopted.