By Ebrima S. Jallow
The Government of The Gambia under the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs is formulating a Green Recovery-focused National Development Plan (2023 – 2027) and a Long-Term Development Vision (Vision 2050) (RF-NDP and LTDV). The RF-NDP as a successor to the NDP will serve as the vehicle through which the short- and medium-term needs of the country will be comprehensively addressed.
The Long-Term Development Vision on the other hand, will chart the long-term trajectory of the country’s development and transformation. The Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs has therefore commissioned a consultancy to support the formulation of these two key development frameworks. A draft inception report outlining the scope of work, expected deliverables, methods and processes to be applied in the plan formulation process have been finalized.
In view of this, the Directorate of Planning on Friday 11th March 2022 brought together stakeholders in the development process to a validation meeting on the inception report for the preparation of the two development plans at the SDKJ Conference Centre to discuss the content of the report and also give their views on how the process can be enhanced.
It is worthwhile to note that the National Development Plan (NDP-2018-2021), which was extended to 2022 is in its final stages of implementation but has been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. A mid-term review was undertaken and Government is gearing up to develop a successor National Development Plan. The pandemic is far more than a health crisis: it has affected nearly every aspect of the social and economic life of the country. To curb the effects of the pandemic, the government formulated a response strategy to address the short-term challenges it posed, but in view of its long-term impact, it is evident that the new NDP must have a green recovery as a central guiding theme of the new plan. Government therefore, intends to ensure that the new plan is a green recovery-focused NDP (RF-NDP) in order to anchor the socio-economic response to COVID-19 firmly within the country’s medium-term development framework, especially, given the changing epidemiological pattern of the pandemic, the continued socioeconomic impact, and the urgency for climate action.
The Gambia’s first long-term development plan (Vision 2020) was formulated in 1996. This 25-year plan was intended to guide The Gambia’s socio-economic development for the period 1996-2020. To help implement the Vision, a series of medium-term development plans were formulated and implemented, namely; Strategy for Poverty Alleviation I (SPA I) 1995-1999, SPA II or Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper I (PRSP I) 2003-2005, PRSP II 2007-2011, Programme for Accelerated Growth and Employment (PAGE) 2012-2015, and National Development Plan (NDP) 2018-2021. Despite the achievements registered during the implementation of these development plans, The Gambia still remains a Least Developed Country with many challenges to overcome in order to attain middle income status as envisaged in the Vision 2020. To this end, the Government is developing a successor Long-Term Development Vision (LTDV) for the period 2023 to 2050 (Vision 2050) for The Gambia.