Clearly, the basic mechanism for driving change in any country is increasing the awareness of people which leads to better organisation. Development comes in many forms but human development is a key component of it and continues to be a good determinant of change. The Gambia has managed to place it in high regard in her development drive even though the sector is in much need of improvement.
Apparently, a major goal of poor countries is economic development or economic growth. However, these two terms, economic development and economic growth are not identical. Growth may be necessary but not sufficient for development. Economic growth refers to increases in a country’s production or income per capita while economic development refers to economic growth accompanied by changes in output distribution and economic structure.
Despite significant progress in reducing the overall incidence of poverty, inequality and high unemployment, especially among the youth, remain a challenge in The Gambia. In recent years, the growth of our economy was said to be driven by a recovery in agriculture. The recovery in agriculture and gains in tourism supported GDP growth in 2012 and 2013. The outlook was optimistic as it was projected to grow even further in 2014 and 2015.
Meanwhile, even with the recent economic upheaval, The Gambia has the potential to become a major economic power if we resolve to learn from past mistakes and to harness the country’s available resources for a productive and sustained effort to promote economic development. From independence in 1965, the state took up the direction and planning of economic growth and development which is quite good.
Currently, the country faces paucity of resources to meet the needs of all sectors of the economy at once. However, education which is the country’s foremost industry remains a very considerable asset. If properly prioritised, it could provide a solid platform for more sustained Gambian development and prosperity in the 21st century and beyond.
Equally important is for us to get rid of inequalities in society in order to achieve inclusive governance. A path to empowerment and the development of inclusive political institutions is critical, and if we do not want The Gambia to fail, we must build the necessary institutions for development.]]>