India Gambia bilateral relations
Bilateral relations between India and Gambia have always remained good with cooperation in Non-Aligned Movement, United Nations and the Commonwealth. Gambia had, in 2006, extended support to the candidature of Mr. Hashim Abdul Halim, Hon’ble Speaker of the West Bengal Legislative Assembly, for the Chairmanship of the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. In January 2005, the then Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Foreign Minister) of The Gambia, Mr. Sidi Sanneh, led a high-level delegation comprising several Secretaries of State (Ministers) to India. Secretary of State for Finance, Mr. Musa Bala Gaye visited India and met officials from both MEA and Deptt. of Economic Affairs in February 2007. Dr. Oumar A. Touray, the then Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs visited India in May 2008. During the visit, he held meeting with the then Minister of State for External Affairs Shri Anand Sharma. Foreign Minister Dr. Mamadou Tangara participated in the Ministerial Meeting on ‘Harnessing the positive contribution of South-South Cooperation for Least Developed Countries’ held in New Delhi during 18-19 February 2011.
Economic and Commercial Relations
While there is no major investment from any Indian company in Gambia, the Indian community is an integral and significant part of the Gambian economy. The majority of the around 600-strong Indian community are involved in trade, construction and related economic activity.
Gambia has signed the Letter of Intent under Duty Free Tariff Preference (DFTP) scheme and has also conveyed the details of Gambian agency and officials responsible for issuing the certificates of origin for the goods to be exported from Gambia to India.
The Government of India has extended two Lines of Credit to the Government of Gambia, viz. US$ 6.7 million in 2006 for a Tractor Assembly Plant and US$ 10 million for construction of National Assembly Building Complex. An LOC of US $ 16.88 million has been approved in 2012 to complete the National Assembly building. A number of tractors assembled at the above plant have been distributed to different regions in the country for improving the farming operations. The construction contract has been awarded by the Gambian Government to M/s Shapoorji Pallonji, a renowned Indian company.
The Gambia has been selected for establishment of the ‘Vocational Training Centre’ by the National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC). A delegation from the National Small Industries Corporation Limited (NSIC) visited Banjul in May 2011 to hold detailed deliberations with stakeholders in Gambia. Discussions on the project are continuing. The Government of Gambia has recently shown its willingness to cooperate fully in the completion of this project.
Establishment of two ‘Hole in the Wall’ projects in Gambia has been proposed by the Government of India with purpose of educating the Gambian children. A draft MoU has been forwarded to the Gambian side. Their response in this regard is awaited.
Pan African E-Network Project was inaugurated on 26th February 2010. All the three nodes – viz. Learning Centre, Patient-End Hospital and VVIP Node have been commissioned / integrated into the Pan-African E-Network in Gambia.
A grant assistance of US$ 50,000/- (US Dollars fifty thousand) was extended by the Government of India to Gambia for flood relief measures in end-2010.
A grant of US$ 500,000/- (US Dollars five hundred thousand) has also been announced by the Government of India under which items like computers, laptops, photocopiers etc. will be supplied. This will facilitate e-governance and e-linkages between the various Gambian ministries.
India has offered the establishment of a food testing laboratory in Gambia in pursuance of the announcements made at the Second India-Africa Forum Summit held in Addis Ababa in May 2011. A delegation from India has visited the Gambia in February 2013. The Gambian side has expressed its willingness to proceed with the project.
The major items exported by India to The Gambia include cotton yarn, fabrics & made-ups, cosmetics/toiletries, drugs & pharmaceuticals and semi-finished Iron & steel products whereas Gambia’s main items of export to India are raw cashew and cotton.
SCAAP and other training and assistance programmes: For the financial year 2012-13, 50 slots have been allotted to The Gambia under SCAAP The Gambia also has 8 slots under ICCR’s General Cultural Scholarship Scheme (GCSS) and 15 slots under Africa Scholarship Scheme. The Pan-African E-Network Project, implemented by Telecommunications Consultants India Limited (TCIL) is operational in The Gambia.
Grants/Credits: India has extended two concessionary lines of credit of around US$ 6.7 million for a tractor assembly plant project and US $ 10 million for the construction of National Assembly Building complex respectively. An amount of US$ 16.88 million has been approved as credit for completion of the construction of National Assembly. India’s Duty Free Tariff Preference (DFTP) scheme is applicable for import of select commodities from The Gambia. A Solar Electrification Project in two villages of The Gambia namely Kankurang and Kafenkeng was installed by an Indian NGO which was inaugurated in September 2007 by the Gambian Vice-President, Dr. Aja Isatou Njie-Saidy. A Vocational Training Centre is planned to be setup with the assistance of National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) of India. The Centre, once established, would provide training in disciplines such as plumbing, welding, electronics, construction sector, carpentry, draftsman-ship, survey, plastic technology demonstration cum training, ICT, agro and food processing, gem-stones cutting and polishing etc.
NRI Population: The approximate number of Indian nationals in The Gambia is 600 (six hundred). They are mostly engaged in trading and private business including construction sector and play an important role in The Gambia’s retail economy.
High Commission of The Gambia in New Delhi: In February 2009, The Gambia opened its first Resident Diplomatic Mission in New Delhi. It is located at the following address:
7-Olof Palme Marg, 1st floor, Vasant Vihar, New Delhi-110057.
The coordinates of the Honorary Consulate of India in Banjul are as follows:
Mr. Ram Mohan, Honorary Consul of India
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