The outgoing British High Commissioner to The Gambia has paid a courtesy call on His Excellency, President Adama Barrow at the State House. The diplomat expressed optimism about the future of this country, in bidding farewell to the President.
“We have seen and been through a lot over the past three years. Of course many challenges remain, but I am optimistic about the future,” Sharon Wardle said to the press corps after her audience with President Barrow this morning.
She arrived in The Gambia in 2017, when The Gambia was beginning the search for new solutions to its past governance, human rights and economic challenges. This week, she is leaving for London after completing her tour of duty in Banjul.
UK and The Gambia shared a long history, since the 1889 boundaries agreement with France that established the current day country along the River Gambia as a British colony.
During World War 2, Gambian troops fought alongside the Allies in Burma. Banjul also served as an air stop for the U.S. Army Air Corps and a port of call for Allied naval convoys.
After World War 2, Gambia’s quest for self-governance increased, with demands in constitutional reforms.
Following general elections in 1962, the United Kingdom granted full internal self-governance. In 1965, Gambia became independent as a constitutional monarchy within the Commonwealth of Nations.
The UK had been the strongest bilateral friend of The Gambia during the First Republic, until 1994, when relations weakened due to the infamous military coup.
Gambia became the fourth country to rejoin the Commonwealth in 2017, after its membership was revoked by former President Yahya Jammeh in 2013.