By Alagie Manneh
The Gambia’s economy is expected to grow at 6.8 percent, according to the finance minister, with all sectors of the GDP expected to register increased growth rates.
Mambury Njie was addressing the National Assembly yesterday as he presented the 2022 budget.
He said the agriculture sector is estimated to grow from 4.5 percent in 2021 to 6.3 percent in 2022. “This increase is on account of the largest sub-component of agriculture – crops and forestry which are projected to record improved growth rates.”
He said the domestic revenue has been projected to increase to D17.6 billion compared to D13.7 billion estimated in 2021. “This is a 16 percent increase which is equivalent to D4.1 billion. Both tax and non-tax revenues are the sources of the increase as government is improving efficiency of revenue collections and limiting the revenue loss through the granting of duty waivers.
“Total grants are projected to increase slightly by 2.3 percent from D12 billion in 2021 to D12.3 billion in 2022. The slight increase is due to a decline in programme grants as support that was received in 2021 for the Covid-19 pandemic would not be forthcoming in the coming year. This was however offset by a greater increase in project grants.”
He said as part of government’s efforts for fiscal consolidation, total expenditure is expected to increase slightly by less than 2 percent from D31.8 billion in 2021 to D32.2 billion in 2022.
“This is due to a significant decline in other current expenditure as much of the Covid-related health expenditure made in 2021 are not factored in the 2022 budget estimates.”
He used his speech to remind the audience that prior to the global Covid-19 pandemic, the country had faced a wide range of political, social, economic, and environmental challenges.
“Yet throughout these challenges, the Barrow government continued to open the door of opportunities and launched much-needed reforms across all sectors of the economy,” Minister Njie said.
He said these include macroeconomic and in economic governance reforms, better management of the country’s natural resources, and the development of human capital.
“We also undertook reforms in our security sector while striving to harness the potentials of digitalisation, multilateralism, global trade, and data for development,” he said.