Gambian President Suspends Foreign Trips By Govt Officials Including Himself

Gambia's President Adama Barrow speaks during a news conference in his residence in Banjul, Gambia January 28, 2017. REUTERS/Thierry Gouegnon

Gambia’s President Adama Barrow has suspended all foreign travel by officials, including himself, to reduce public spending, a government spokesman announced Saturday.

Barrow signed an executive order “suspending all overseas travels by the president, the vice-president, cabinet ministers, senior government officials, civil servants and employees across all government institutions and agencies,” for the rest of the fiscal year, presidential spokesman Ebrima Sankareh said in a statement.

Meetings where Gambian participation is compulsory and foreign trips entirely financed by external sources will be exempt.

The Gambia, continental Africa’s smallest country with a population of just more than two million people, ranks 174th out of 191 on the UN’s Human Development Index, which considers health, education, and standard of life.

According to the World Bank, more than a fifth of the world’s population lives on less than two dollars per day. Last year, annual inflation was 11.6 percent.

The budget deficit grew last year as tax revenues fell and state subsidies on fuel, fertilizer, and grain increased as a result of the Ukraine war’s effects.

The budget deficit and debt levels have also increased as a result of lower tax collections and increased subsidies for fuel, fertilizer, and grains as a result of the Ukraine conflict.

Written by PH

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