Gambians condemn their government’s ‘celebration’ of rice donation made by China

Adama Barrow (on the right) and  Chinese Ambassador
Gambian president Adama Barrow (on the right) receiving the rice donation from the Chinese Ambassador at a ceremony in Banjul.

Rice is Gambia’s staple food for decades but the West African country struggles to produce a substantial amount of the food locally to feed the tiny country’s two million population.

Since 2017 when the Gambia and China restored diplomatic relations that were severed in 1995 due to the African country’s support of Taiwan, the Asian powerhouse has donated thousands of bags of rice to alleviate hunger in the country.

President Adama Barrow received last Friday 54,000 bags of rice which the Chinese government described as a humanitarian gesture. In 2017 alone, China donated over 100,000 bags of rice which were distributed to state agencies and the seven regions.

Gambia People

President Barrow, who presided over the handing-over ceremony of the rice, said the aid “will be greatly cherished by the vulnerable Gambians whose staple food is rice,” reports the presidency.

“For the Gambia to be successful in rice cultivation, self-sufficient in the production of the staple food, the country must learn from the People’s Republic of China,” he added while calling for support to grow rice domestically.