Hon. Baboucar Ousmaila Joof, the Minister of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment (MoTIE), on Tuesday, January 3rd presided over opening of the 3rd retreat of the MoTIE at Tendaba Camp in Kiang West, Lower River Region.
The objective of the four-day retreat is to develop a consolidated annual work plan, which will be one of the ministry’s working instruments for 2023. The retreat will also review and align its work plan with the pillar on trade, private sector development, and employment creation in the Green Recovery Focused National Development Plan.
In his opening statement, Minister Joof expressed belief that the forum will afford him the opportunity to get the information he needs about the Ministry, the various sections of the Ministry, as well as to communicate his vision to the technical team.
“It has been suggested in the previous speeches that the country’s economy depends on the MoTIE for functioning and this brings along the departments and agencies under the Ministry. Therefore, if they failed to perform their functions as a Ministry, they cannot expect the economy of the country to survive; meaning they cannot impact positively on the lives of the Gambian people,” he remarked.
With affirmation, the Minister cautioned his team that expectations are very high in this country; that everybody is looking up to the Ministry of Trade to determine the prices of commodities that are coming from other countries; “to drive prices down, to make living conditions favourable; and to hand them jobs.
“Therefore, as a team we cannot sit down and fold our arms and do nothing towards the situation in the country,” he emphasised.
For Mr. Lamin Dampha, the Permanent Secretary at MoTIE retreat is not only a working session but also a family reunion – “to know and appreciate each other better, which is very important when working together”. He therefore underscored the need for consultation and collaboration throughout the forum.
While speaking about resources – mobilisation and the constraints – Mr Dampha urged the staff, institutions and agencies under the Ministry to not be limited by the scarce available resources, saying they must come together and mobilise resources. He mentioned the need for a joint border post with Senegal, which is currently being pursued as Gambia-Senegal and ECOWAS project. This, he said is important to The Gambia.
The retreat is being attended by senior management of MoTIE and personnel of its respective Directorates and Units, Departments and Agencies under the purview of the Ministry; namely, The Gambia Investment and Exports Promotion Agency (GIEPA), The Gambia Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (GCCPC), Weights and Measures Bureau (WMB), the Gambia Standards Bureau (TGSB) and Department of Labour.