By Olimatou Coker
The government of the Gambia and the African Solidarity Fund (ASF) on Friday launched the commencement of the implementation of the ASF activities in the country.
The launch came after The Gambia joined the organisation in June this year.
The African Solidarity Fund (ASF) is a multilateral financial institution whose mission is to contribute to the economic development and social progress of its African member states, by facilitating access to the financial resources needed to carry out investment projects and other income-generating activities.
The objective of the mission is to discuss with Gambian authorities, private sector and other stakeholders about the ASF and identify potential areas of engagement.
The delegation has also met with officials of the Ministry of Finance and members of the business community to identify projects to be implemented in the Gambia, including in the agriculture and banking sectors. The organization is a multilateral financial guaranty institution based in Miami, Niger and has treated member countries including Gambia Rwanda, Senegal, Togo, Guinea Bissau, Liberia Congo, Benin, Burkina Faso, and others the creation of the organization is a decision of the African heads of state taken in the Central African Republic in March 1975. It became operational in September 1979.
Seedy Keita, the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, said the launch is another major achievement for the government of President Barrow.
Minister Keita is hopeful of greater transformation to the Africa Solidarity Fund.
“The fund support member states the banking and financial system and entrepreneurs using various products respectively. Individual guarantee of bank loans and bond issues intended primarily to finance investment projects. Portfolio guarantees for banks to finance the SMEs in member countries. Guarantee line for national guarantee funds. To increase their intervention. And I believe that the conclusion and the discussions held will be useful tools and building blocks to support the Africans for value funds intervention in the Gambia”.
Lamin Bojang, the adviser to the finance minister, who is also the representative of the Gambia on the board of ASF, urged the business community to take advantage of the opportunity created by ASF.
“Recently, the African solidarity fund has developed an ambitious medium term development strategy for the new frontier plan.”
He added that this will ensure high financing capacity and also provide them the ability to mobilize more financing and resources to meet the demand of its member countries.
Mr. Jean Berchmans Nkurunziza, head of the delegation and the Central Director of Strategy and Operation of the Fund, said since 2022, it has been nearly more than 1.5 billion American dollars of intervention period for more than 100 projects and operations supported annually.
“As of June 2023. The African solidarity fund has a capital of about 285 million US dollars. It envisages to become by 2025. A strong and innovative Pan African institution at the service of the structural transformation of member states”.