By Isatou Jawara
The Gambia is facing weak agricultural foreign exchange challenges which also reflect high domestic debt accumulation, according to the Governor of the country’s highest bank.
Governor Amadou Colley said the country faces weak agricultural outputs, foreign exchange challenges and the December political impasse means serious effect on tourism.
“Addressing the effects of these shocks and restoring economic stability will require the continued support of the international community,” he said.
He added: “The Gambia faced a range of policy, institutional and operational challenges. In addition, there are challenges of establishing an effective governance framework at sub national levels and in building their capacity for debt management.
“In the past two decades, while considerable progress has been made in addressing debt to sustainability levels in many low and lower middle income countries, tremendous improvements have also been made in strengthening their debt management competences. As a result, debt management practices in most sub-regional African countries today are far cry from what they were before 1996.”
He was speaking at the regional technical experts training, organised by WAIFEM and the World Bank.
The governor’s speech, read on his behalf, also added that “the newly democratically elected government has already put in place adequate measures to enable the country to be on top of these challenges.”
The World Bank representative Ms Zeinab Partow, said since 2007, the World Bank introduced the Government Debt Management Performance Assessment (DEMPA) tool as part of the armory for effective debt management performance.
“The tool provides mechanism for assessing debt management performance in developing countries at national and sub regional level of government,” she added.
The Director General of WAIFEM Prof Akpan H Ekpo, said in most developing countries, the scope of sovereign debt management was confined to the issues of funding decision and management.
Mr Ekpo stated: “The goal of the plan of debt management is to alleviate poverty. The usefulness of debt management is to conduct country dialogue, design debt management reforms and enhancing donor harmonisation and monitoring performance over time.”