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MoTIE, MoECCNR & EIF hold dialogue on accessing trade related climate change financing

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By Mariatou Ngum

The Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment (MoTIE) and the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources (MoECCNR) in partnership with the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) Secretariat on Wednesday, 14th September 2022 held a high-level dialogue on accessing trade-related climate change financing for the public sector officials.

The event that was held at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Center was meant to provide the participants the opportunity to enhance their knowledge on the procedure and process of accessing trade related climate change finance in the context of green value chain development and support implementation of the Trade Policy 2018. The event was implemented through knowledge and experience sharing by both local and international experts and participants.

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Deputising for the Hon. Seedy Keita, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs who double as the overseer of MoTIE, Hon. Queen Lamin Jammeh, Minister of Information spoke at length on the long-standing relationship that the Government of The Gambia has with EIF Secretariat, which MoTIE value greatly. He informed the participants that since 2010, The Gambia and EIF Secretariat has implemented several projects under the EIF programme.

He added that the EIF programme continues to support national processes, particularly in the area of mainstreaming trade in National Development Plans. He revealed that EIF funded projects in The Gambia totaled more than USD7.6 million and through the various supported projects they have made great strides in building trade institutional capacities, making private sector more competitive, and developing value-added capabilities for export diversification.

With the support of EIF, he stated, the MoTIE is currently working with over 90 women-owned businesses under SheTrades initiatives being implemented in collaboration with ITC. “Under the programme, we were able to build the capacities of women businesses through the provision of equipment and trainings to improve the quality and packaging of their products,” he said.

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Considering the contribution of EIF to the trade capacity development in The Gambia and LDCs in general, the Hon. Minister noted that there is a need for the extension of the EIF beyond the EIF Phase two which is ending in June 2023. This, he said, is important given the current challenges that most of the LDCs have in getting access to aid for trade resources to address their supply sides constraints.

He further spoke on the big challenges confronting The Gambia now is Climate Change, which has become a reality that it cannot be ignored. Therefore, he reiterated that the dialogue is the first step in reshaping Gambia’s Commitment in accessing trade related climate change aid for trade resources.

Speaking earlier, Hon. Rohey John Manjang, Minister of MoECCNR commended the EIF Secretariat for supporting the climate change dialogue to make sure that each and everyone can come together to respond to the climate change adaptation mitigation process.

According to her, industrial countries contributed more than 80 percent of emissions but countries like The Gambia which contributed an insignificant percent is also hit by the impact of climate change.

Hence, she said that now is the time for them to respond and go away from the norm of business as usual by taking the bold step and voluntarily take charge of not doing things in the usual way that they want by redesigning things in such a way it will be environmentally friendly and respond to the adaptation of climate changes.

HE Annette Ssemuwemba, deputy executive director of the EIF Secretariat expressed delight to participate in the dialogue. In addition to their participation in the event, she said they will also be following up on some projects that they are supporting to build institutional and productive capacity in The Gambia.

She said they are pleased with the efforts in The Gambia to directly strengthen the linkages between trade and the environment community at the country level as they already learned a lot from the presentation made on some projects in place already.

With The Gambia being only one of the three currently involved in the WTO Trade and Environmental Sustainability Structure Discussions, she said events like today it is clear that The Gambia is one of such pioneers.

She added that climate change has already resulted in changing rainfall patterns and extreme weather events leading to destructions in trade supply chains. She commended the foresight of the Government of The Gambia for hosting the event and assembling world-class experts from home and abroad to discuss the issue.

In his remarks, Lamin Dampha, Permanent Secretary at MoTIE affirmed that the Government’s commitment in addressing climate change related issues, using trade and trade related policy instruments to help transform and enhance the competiveness of the economy, support private sector development is still marred with challenges. “These challenges related to limited institutional capacity, supply side constraints and unfavorable climate conditions (drought and erratic rainfalls) as well as limited climate change related aid trade financing,” PS Dampha noted.

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