US$11.64 Million Wiped off Gambia’s Debt

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Unimpeachable sources to this paper have indicated that the debt owed to the Paris-Club creditor countries by The Gambia has been sliced by a total of US$11.64 million. A statement released by the Office of the Secretary of State for the Department of State for Finance and Economic Affairs says the cancellation has been granted within the framework of the Enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative.

The “Participating Paris-Club creditor countries” are Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom. Before this cancellation The Gambia had owed the creditor countries US$40 million. A delegation from The Gambia met with representatives from these nations on January 24th 2008 to finalise the cancellation.

The move comes following the declaration by the Boards of the IMF and the World Bank in December of last year that The Gambia reached its completion point under the HIPC initiative and become eligible for debt relief.

As part of the terms of the cancellation, bilateral agreements between The Gambia and the creditor nations must be signed by the end of June 2008.

The statement reasserts the commitment of The Republic of The Gambia “to allocate the resources freed by this debt treatment to priority areas identified in the country’s poverty reduction strategy.”
In conclusion the statement says the authorities are also to seek comparable treatment from all other external creditors. The delegation of the republic of The Gambia was headed by Hon. Mousa Gribril Bala Gaye, Secretary of State for Finance and Economic Affairs. 

Source: The Point