Sierra Leone Telegraph: Might 16, 2019:
Tao Zhang, Executive Vice President of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), arrived in Gambia at first of this week, the place he met authorities officers, politicians, elderly servants, business leaders and civil society.
He spoke when he spoke concerning the welfare of Gambia – to study that many different nations within the area might study. He stated:
Good morning, women and gents, women and gents. I want to categorical my gratitude to Minister Njie for a friendly introduction. It’s a pleasure to be right here at this time in Banjul to speak to such a prestigious audience at present concerning the new opportunities for Gambia.
You present a true cross-section of this society that reflects many various interests, but shares the hopes of all of the gambians. These hopes have been expressed within the peaceful political transition of 2017.
In simply two days, I am amazed by the power, willpower and endurance of this individuals. You could have accepted the challenges and opportunities of your country and your efforts have begun to bear fruit.
That's what I've discovered is the best way for hope and a shiny future. Or in different words, the path to well-being. I want to tackle this this morning.
Permit me to begin with a quick assessment of the economic state of affairs in sub-Saharan Africa and Gambia. As you recognize, the area has benefited from strong progress during the last 20 years
But the final 4 years have proved tougher. We’ve got seen differences in economic injury – with diversified, well-managed economies and in lots of resource-dependent nations dealing with difficulties.
Though this mannequin has continued just lately, we see that regional progress is reviving some momentum. The International Financial Fund (IMF) estimates that progress in Sub-Saharan Africa should accelerate to 3.5% this yr from three% in 2018. We anticipate it to develop by virtually 4% in the medium term. That is excellent news.
We are very happy that the Gambian financial system has risen sharply. Progress within the yr 2018 was 6.6 % and the outlook for sustainable progress is constructive within the medium term
Inflation has fallen to only over 6 % and gross stocks have risen to about three months of imports
. The government's efforts to stabilize the financial system with the help of overseas gambles, the personal sector and worldwide companions have been achieved
. The opening of the Senegambia Bridge, which I’ll visit later at present, is a wonderful instance of this progress. It is a symbol of Gambia's efforts to deepen economic ties with the rest of the area.
The bridge can also be a great thing in my speech: The Gambian path to well-being
is the path literally. However additionally it is a path in a figurative sense that symbolizes the significance of enhanced trade and connectivity in building wealth. At the similar time, house policy efforts are wanted to construct this route.
Enhanced trade is the progress of wealth. Africa is now shifting in the direction of the creation of a continental free commerce space, lately adopted by the Gambia. This initiative has the potential to extend intra-African trade and progress in lots of dimensions.
It could actually improve jobs, promote competition, help improve investment and encourage the unfold of data and know-how. All of these might supply vital advantages to Gambia.
The contract itself is, nevertheless, only one step. To be able to absolutely profit from this, the uneven bottlenecks in commerce within the area must also be resolved. These embrace infrastructure gaps, logistics costs and other limitations to cross-border trade
If these issues are addressed, regional trade integration will help maximize the revenue of essential public investments such as the Senegambia Bridge and consolidate the current improve in personal sector exercise and lending, which is an integral part of sustainable improvement. Improvement in Gambia
On this context, it is very important word that non-public sector progress have to be backed up by accountable lending by monetary institutions to the Gambia area. giant and small companies. Careful supervision of banks and other credit score establishments will assist to make sure monetary stability because of the rising personal capital progress.
Trade integration also helps to build state-owned firm reforms. In many instances, the long-term viability of these corporations relies upon on growing their regional orientation
An instance of the power sector. The stabilization of electricity manufacturing has contributed to stronger progress in your country. Thus, the continued investments in electrical energy transmission connect the japanese and northern elements of the nation, it additionally opens the doorways to West African electrical energy networks by permitting cross-border commerce in power, together with the flagship OMVG challenge linking Gambia, Guinea Conakry, Senegal and Guinea-Bissau to take advantage of Water assets within the Gambia River Basin to supply low-cost renewable power sources for Member States.
Equally, investments in upgrading Banjul Harbor might be created. new transshipment middle to the world. On this context, the Senegambia bridge could possibly be only one step within the improvement of the Trans-Gambian Hall of the Financial Group of West African States (ECOWAS)
Regional integration and cooperation are notably essential for enhancing the construction of the financial system. competitiveness. Let me offer you two examples:
First, agriculture might be a significant factor in the progress of Gambia's well-being. Regional Trade Integration and Enhanced Infrastructure are key to this exceptional economic progress
On Sunday I visited Radville Farms outdoors Banjul and their refinery and transit visitors near Yundum Airport. It was nice to see how automation and advanced irrigation methods help produce useful and productive crops, improve exports and supply useful jobs for many skilled staff, especially ladies.
In the future, weather monitoring for modernizing agriculture requires satellite tv for pc imaging and other superior technological solutions (together with synthetic intelligence). They assist to create agriculture that is more environmentally pleasant and sustainable for local weather attacks
That is especially necessary for small and fragile ecosystems such because the Gambia. Agriculture can better respond to nationwide targets for food self-sufficiency and the creation of latest export markets.
Secondly, tourism and other providers are still key to the longer term. With regard to tourism, it’s nice to see that Gambia attracts a report variety of visitors. New motels, roads and different facilities will appeal to extra vacationers and help re-enact rural tourism, including branching into eco-tourism and water sports activities.
Steady enlargement of the transport infrastructure facilitates tourism, together with improved connections. These connections additionally permit items to move across the area and help develop trade-related providers, including re-export.
Regional financial integration and cooperation additionally reinforce Gambia's external place. Exports, personal capital inflows and remittances of individuals working abroad are more likely to get well and more likely to grow with regional integration. This can assist build overseas change reserves and strengthen confidence in Dalas.
So there’s optimism concerning the economic outlook. Unprecedented advantages help efforts to improve the standard of life of all gambians. We’ve already seen progress in decreasing maternal and toddler mortality, and far more is deliberate based on the National Improvement Plan
. This underlines that, alongside regional integration, there are different essential areas for reform to move the Gambia in the direction of prosperity, which are also key to attaining the objectives of sustainable improvement. I want to highlight three areas:
Firstly, the liberalization of donors' financial help is among the essential challenges. This may be solved by solving the unsustainable public debt state of affairs in Gambia. In this regard, I am pleased to announce that on the assembly in Washington last week a round table meeting of creditors, most expressed help for debt aid. Your government and its advisors are following this improvement.
The second priority is to promote inclusive progress and handle social wants. This implies combating poverty via packages for weak households and creating jobs for unemployed young individuals. By decreasing debt servicing prices, debt aid can even create a finances area to deal with these needs and different budgetary priorities, including the reform of state-owned enterprises
Third, strengthening the rule of regulation and growing accountability and transparency can also be an important step in the direction of sustainable progress. The Janneh Commission revealed the extent of monetary abuse and abuse through the previous system. More efforts are wanted to revive the stolen home and overseas funds.
The IMF joins the rest of the international group when it commends governments' dedication to transitional justice reform by a committee of inquiry and fact, reconciliation and reconciliation. Fee and newly established Nationwide Human Rights Commission. We additionally observe the plans to arrange an anti-corruption Fee.
We’re additionally joining the international group by supporting security sector reforms which are essential to modernize the state and strengthen the rule of regulation.
I want to talk about the position of the IMF:
The Fund offered emergency assist in 2017 and continues our dedication via a human assets monitoring program. Sooner or later, we will move to a medium-term program with low-cost funding
Along with the worldwide partners and supporting nations, the IMF is strongly dedicated to helping Gambia strengthen its key institutions, including by providing technical expertise and training
It will be important that the international group, together with the IMF , help is intently associated to your country's improvement priorities. Ensure we are ready to take heed to your ideas and ideas – and offer you all the aid you need.
We look ahead to working with you as you proceed to prosper. (Ultimate statement)
IMF Executive Vice President Tao Zhang stated friends Gambia right now:
"My go to to the Gambia was very fruitful and informative, and I’m grateful for the nice and cozy hospitality of the Gambian individuals
" I need to thank President Adama Barrow, Minister of Finance Mambury Njie and Bakary Jammeh, Governor of the Central Financial institution, on constructive and substantive discussions. I want to thank President Barrow for his dedication to openness, good governance and the rule of regulation, which has helped to improve the enterprise surroundings and increase investor confidence. I inspired continued progress within the constitutional and judicial evaluation, the Transitional Judicial Reform Program and underlined the necessity to publish Janneh's Fee report shortly in an effort to velocity up the recovery of stolen funds
. welcomed the credible reversal of macroeconomic performance and the key advances made in attaining fiscal reality. I additionally inspired the authorities to strengthen these income by reinforcing the mobilization of revenue, enhancing monetary management and prioritizing and mitigating expenditure.
"I also defined that the creditors of insurance debt aid, continued fiscal prudence and a dedication to the reform of state-owned enterprises are required to move the IMF's financial association inside the framework of the extended credit score facility
. “I was honored to satisfy MEPs to discuss strengthening their supervisory position and with improvement and diplomatic companions to discuss donor coordination, given the intensive use of funding and capacity-building assets by the Gambia. I made a public speech on the progress of Gambia's prosperity, which emphasised the significance of regional integration for the profitable restructuring of Gambia.
”I also visited many websites that play a key position in Gambia's efforts to deepen its exterior orientation and strengthen regional ties, particularly the Port of Banjul, which seeks to broaden and promote the position of the Gambia in regional commerce, Radville Farms, a personal horticultural farm and a serious employer of agricultural merchandise. and the lately accomplished Senegambia Bridge, linking the northern and southern elements of Gambia and Senegal, in addition to the very important hyperlink that opens the regional degree to the Cairo and Lagos commerce hall.
“Finally, I went to the Gambia Visually Impaired Group, which aims to teach and integrate the visually impaired into Gambian society. I used to be impressed by the willpower and adaptability of the members of the organization, a logo of the power of the Gambia and its aspiration for prosperity.
”The IMF is able to continue to assist the Gambian authorities achieve their nationwide objectives.”  Related