By Aisha Tamba
The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (Unido), in collaboration with the Government of The Gambia, Friday launched a country programme (CP) 2021 – 2025 designed to support industrialisation in the country.
The five-year prgramme was signed by the country’s trade minister, Seedy Keita and Unido representative, Christophe Yvetot.
The programme document seeks to set up five strategic visions for engagement and partnership between the two parties. It will contribute to fostering smart sustainable and inclusive economic growth through promoting a knowledge-based resource-efficient industry.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Seedy Keita, ministry of trade, said the five-year strategic plan will ultimately provide The Gambia with rare opportunities to redefine the industrial landscape through comprehensive diagnostic and
transformative intervention approaches on the national value chains in the identified sectors under the Unido Country Programme.
“With the coming of the Country Programme, we envisage the smooth implementation of our trade strategies and industrial policies anchored on the creation of enabling business environment for private sector-led growth.
“My ministry intends to empower the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) with emphasis on making agricultural trade more dynamic contributor to GDP to ensure that the benefits of Agric- business is widespread. The recognition of inclusive trade through enhanced agribusiness and Agro-industry development in the Country Programme will no doubt enhance such growth. This will however require some form of investment and technological development in the sector,” he said.
For Christophe Yvetot, the Country Programme is a direct response to support local production for job creation and increased resilience.
“It is important to indicate that the Country Programme is directly aligned with the national development goals and priorities, as defined in The Gambia’s long-term development strategy “Vision 2020” and in its National Development Plan 2018-2021,” Mr Yvotet said.
A rep of the finance ministry, Juldeh Ceesay, said the manufacturing sector is key to driving the economic growth of the country if supported by a solid manufacturing base.
“The economic activity in The Gambia is however characterised by services which contributes about 55 percent of GDP and consists mainly of trade, tourism, transport, and communication.”
The five-strategic plan for the Country Programme includes: supporting value chains and agro-industry development; reinforce national quality infrastructure modernisation and upgrading of enterprises; support MSMEs and entrepreneurship development; promote green industrialisation; and develop industrial/technology parks/processing zones.