VP receives WB official
Friday, August 22, 2008
The vice-president, Aja Dr Isatou Njie-Saidy, yesterday, received Mrs Joy Phumaphi, the visiting vice-president of the Human Development Network of the World Bank (WB), in her office at State House.
Mrs Phumaphi told reporters, shortly after her audience with the vice-president, that her visit to The Gambia was at the invitation of the secretary of state for Basic and Secondary Education, Fatou Lamin Faye.
She said her audience with the vice-president accorded her the opportunity to discuss the "tremendous" progress the country has experienced under the first education sector plan and learning opportunities this has created.
She added that they also discussed possibilities for the bank to continue partnering with The Gambia and other development partners involved in supporting the country in the second education sector plan for the attainment of the goals of Vision 2020.
Acknowledging the genuineness of the appeal forwarded to the bank by the Department of State for Education, the senior World Bank official said that as one of the beneficiaries of the Fast Track Initiative, which has developed mechanisms to helping countries to attain MDG Two (Access to basic education and literacy), The Gambia has opted for their continued support.
Mrs Phumaphi also referred to a recent discussion between President Alhaji Dr Yahya Jammeh and the World Bank president, Robert Zoellick, as another reason her visit to the country, saying that she was here in response to the issues the Gambian leader had raised then with Mr Zoellick, as to how the bank is partnering with other development partners in the country to meet these goals.
She added that she also took the opportunity to express appreciation, through the vice-president, for the successes the country had registered in other relevant and related sectors.
As the official responsible for human development, she said she had not come to The Gambia only to explore the area of education, but made it clear that their major area of collaboration with the government is on education, as that is what the country had expressed interest in. She however did not rule out collaborating in other relevant sectors.
"What the bank would like to see," she said,"'is for The Gambia to tell us that ‘we do not need your help anymore’." But she said that this goal cannot be achieved if the two do not work on developing the human capacity of the country.
She disclosed that out of over 300 officers that participated in the selection process, over 100 passed the test with commendable results. Although the selection process is a normal routine, depending on the request forwarded by member states, she said that the number of passes registered by the Gambian police officers stands out from that of the rest of the world. Precisely 160 officers, including 20 females, passed the test.
Face of Africell
Speaking to journalists after their audience with Dr Njie-Saidy, the reigning Face of Africell, Yamundaw Leigh, said their visit was meant to express gratitude to the vice-president for all the support the government has accorded them throughout the competition, as well as to seek more encouragement and advice as role models.
Ms Leigh further disclosed that having met with other secretaries of state, she and her team have had the assurance of the government's continued support, citing the promise of providing attachment opportunities for the contestants at the end of their studies.
Author: by Kemo Cham