By Olimatou Coker
Baboucarr O. Joof, the Minister of Public Serivce, Administrative Reform, Policy Coordination and Delivery, has announced that The Gambia credit unions have accrued more than one billion dalasis in assets already.
Hon. O. Joof made these remarks Saturday during the second edition of the credit union managers and volunteers conference organized by the National Association of Cooperation Credit Unions of the Gambia (NACCUG) held at NACCUG officer in Kanifing.
The conference aimed to raise awareness about the great work credit unions and NACCUG are doing in The Gambia.
The conference also brought together a total of 133 delegates from 40 credit unions which include managers and volunteers across the country to discuss relevant issues affecting the credit union industry.
“In The Gambia, agricultural cooperatives existed before being extinguished by a presidential ban in 1996, and even though several and different attempts were made successively by government, the entire movement remains in a coma.
It is however inconceivable that during these traumatic years of non-cooperation a movement was born which today, against all odds, is a key player in the Gambia’s financial landscape. The credit unions which sprouted invariably in 1992 have in effect facilitated the accumulation of more than one billion dalasis in assets already,” he said.
Minister Joof said cooperatives provide jobs and employment opportunities.
“At least 12% of people on earth are cooperators of any of the 3 million cooperatives on the earth. Cooperatives provide jobs and work opportunities to 10% of the employed population, and the 3 hundred largest cooperatives or mutual generate $2.2 million in turnover while providing the service and infrastructure society needs to thrive,” he added.
Other speakers included Dawda Kujabi, GTUCCU general manager, who presented on policy versus discretion -ambidextrous model in credit union operations and governance, NACCUG board chairperson, DSIK team also presented on marketing /opportunies and potential of CUs engaging in MSME lending and also Dr. Paul Mendy, Second Deputy Governor, CBG.