A government spokeswoman stated Saturday that Gambia’s President Adama Barrow has suspended himself and all government officials from foreign travel in order to decrease public spending.
According to presidential spokesman Ebrima Sankareh, Barrow signed an executive order “suspending all overseas travels by the president, vice-president, cabinet ministers, senior government officials, civil servants, and employees across all government institutions and agencies” for the rest of the fiscal year.
Meetings requiring Gambian participation and abroad travels wholly funded 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.