A government spokesman announced Saturday that Gambia’s President Adama Barrow has suspended himself and all government officials from foreign travel to reduce public spending.
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 with compulsory Gambian participation and foreign trips financed by external sources will be exempt.
The Gambia, continental Africa’s smallest country with just over two million inhabitants, ranks 174th out of 191 on the UN’s Human Development Index, which combines health, education and standard of living criteria.
According to the World Bank, more than a fifth of the population lives on less than two dollars a day. Annual inflation reached 11.6 percent last year.
With tax revenues falling, and high state subsidies on fuel, fertilizer and grain due to the effects of the Ukraine war, the budget deficit widened last year
The budget deficit and debt levels have also risen, as tax revenues have fallen and due to higher subsidies for fuel, fertilizers, and cereals as a result of the war in Ukraine.