The call came yesterday during a day’s policy conference which seeks to set principles and standards that will guide NGO-private sector partnership for national development financing held at the Tango conference hall in Kanifing.
In his remarks, Yahya Sanyang, the chairman, board of directors of Tango, the umbrella body for all non-governmental organisations in the country said the private sector has a potential to boost The Gambia’s development even further. He said: “Over the years, we have witnessed a steady increase in the response of private sector to the needs of Gambian communities. Some of the key interventions have been in the education sector where private companies continuously sponsor students’ education and provide learning materials to schools, the health sector through sponsoring of wards and medical equipment and consumables in minor and major health centres as well as in hospitals, sporting events in efforts to maintain a clean environment through organised cleaning activities and other areas.
“Recent years have shown a shift in the perceptions of private sector’s role in development. The state and civil society, traditional actors in solving issues are increasingly acknowledging the trend of businesses taking more action in development. The harmonisation of the efforts of the private sector with that of development organisations is therefore essential for the realisation of the optimum impact needed to catalyse sustainable development processes. With the support of the private sector, NGOs would be better equipped to empower communities who would in turn become healthier, more productive and income-generating and thus better armed to invest and acquire goods and services which will in turn boost the economy and promote a robust private sector.”
On his part, Dawda Savage, a board member at the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry said it was necessary for all socio-economic stakeholders to engage in policy dialogues, so as to design a viable strategy for the private sector’s effective participation in generation of funds for national development.
He added: “In general terms, the private sector usually hesitates or shies away from investing sufficiently in national development as a result of high risks like weak governance at sovereign level, regulatory uncertainty, weak rule of law and poor property rights among other structural impediments.”
The Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance Lamin Camara commented: “The Millenium Development Goals will expire in September and a new set of development goals is under formulation that requires development financing. We all know that our traditional donors and government cannot finance these post 2015 agenda alone. Government is committed to working with all partners to identify, test, and scale-up public-private partnership models in a systematic way. The traditional investment generated by this approach should significantly accelerate progress toward growth and transformation of the Gambian economy.”]]>