The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Major General Yakuba Abdourahman Drammeh has called for closer collaboration and synergy of efforts among stakeholders in the maritime domain to enable the Gambia Navy adequately secure the country’s maritime resources. The CDS was speaking at a historic meeting with the management of the Gambia Ports Authority (GPA) on Wednesday 22 July 2020 as part of his engagement with strategic partners of the Gambia Armed Forces.
In welcoming the CDS and delegation, the Managing Director (MD) of the GPA Mr. Ousman Jobarteh thanked General Drammeh for the visit, which he described as the first of its kind in the history of the GPA, while congratulating him for a well-deserved appointment as CDS. Mr. Jobarteh went further to acknowledge that they are encouraged by the visit, while stressing that it is also a recognition by the Armed Forces Command of the strategic and economic importance of the GPA. He noted with appreciation the exemplary performance of the Gambia Navy as well as other members of the country’s security services posted at the GPA indicating that this is as a result of the cordial working relations among them.
The Managing Director indicated that the Ports Authority is cognizant of its unique position as a major economic earner and is therefore working on regaining its lost glory through expansion of the facilities at the Ports. He noted that the aim is to ensure faster turn-around for ships and cargo while calling for closer collaboration with all stakeholders including the Gambia Armed Forces and other security agencies. He assured the CDS and all the security chiefs of his readiness to work closely to ensure that the Ports not only becomes an economic earner for the country but also a safe and secure environment for businesses.
For his part, Major General Drammeh expressed thanks and appreciation to the GPA management for the warm reception. He stated that the purpose of his visit to the GPA was to reach out to strategic partners of the Gambia Armed Forces with a view to chart the way forward for closer collaboration. He noted that the GAF cannot achieve its constitutional mandate without reaching out to partners like the GPA. He noted with appreciation the professional and cordial working relations between stakeholders at the Ports and the Gambia Navy in protecting the nation’s maritime and economic gateway. He went further to thank the Ports management for the assistance they have been rendering to the Navy which he noted has enhanced the operational efficiency of the Gambia Navy over the years. He assured the Ports Management of his disposition to work closely with all stakeholders in the maritime domain at all times. The CDS concluded by stating that the way forward is that he would call for a meeting of all stakeholders in the maritime domain to look at further enhancing the operational efficiency of the Gambia Navy.