Prince Charles starts African tour, celebrates Gambia's 'democracy'

Britain's Prince Charles Prince of Wales receives gifts during a welcome ceremony at the airport in Banjul Gambia,upon his arrival for an official visit

Prince Charles and Camilla were presented with a Kalabash containing kola nuts, which is a symbol of honour in welcome ceremonies, and met members of the Gambian delegation before continuing with the welcome ceremony.

Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, and his wife Camilla arrived in Gambia on Wednesday.

The Gambia was welcomed back into the Commonwealth during a visit by the Gambian president to London earlier this year.

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Jammeh withdrew Gambia from the Commonwealth - an organization for former British colonies, five years ago.

"We are friends and partners, and once again we are both members of the Commonwealth family of nations", the prince said at a ceremony in Banjul's McCarthy Square, hosted by President Adama Barrow.

Barrow, who won a December 2016 election that Jammeh rejected, is attempting to rehabilitate Gambia's image overseas.

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"I also call on the United Kingdom with whom we have close historical ties to continue to support us through enhancing trade, investment and economic cooperation", he said.

During his trip, the prince visited the British-established Medical Research Council (MRC) and The Gambia Armed Forces Training School in Fajara, after being treated to a state banquet at State House in Banjul. The Duke and Duchess will be touring some parts of Accra and Kumasi before leaving for Nigeria on Tuesday, November 6. The last visit was by Princess Anne in 1990. This will be the Duchess of Cornwall's first visit to Ghana.

Critics of the Commonwealth see it as an outdated relic of Britain's imperial past, while advocates say it gives small countries like Gambia a seat at the table with larger states, and has potential to improve life for its 2.4 billion residents.

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He refused to step down, but was forced out the following month after other West African countries intervened militarily.

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