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Tuesday, 18 July 2017

The New Gambia Takes Centre-Stage At Aid for Trade Global Review

In the months since it took office in January, The Gambia's new government has made trade an important part of its plans for growth, job creation, and democratic consolidation. The country featured prominently at the recent Aid for Trade Global Review at World Trade Organization headquarters in Geneva. Vice-President Fatoumata Tambajang, Minister of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment Isatou Touray and Minister of Tourism Hamat Bah attended the 11-12 July gathering, which they used to showcase domestic policy reforms and urge aid donors and the private sector to invest in building supply-side capacity in The Gambia. The International Trade Centre has been working to support The Gambia's efforts to develop trade capacity for inclusive economic growth, with a focus on creating jobs for youth and women. A big part of this is the recently-launched Gambia Youth Empowerment Project (YEP), a four-year initiative, funded by the European Union, to build skills, enable value addition and foster market connections in job-rich sectors such as tourism and agribusiness. A 12 July roundtable brought together the Gambian leaders, international agencies, and development assistance donors. The meeting was presented with a book of eight potential projects. Some of the projects were economy-wide in scope, dealing with reforms to improve the business environment or to leverage ITC's SheTrades initiative to create economic opportunities for Gambian women.Others were sector-specific, such as a project to build high-quality fisheries landing and storage capacity, and one to invest in the food safety system so the country's agriculture sector can meet international market standards. Vice President Tambajang said that the Aid for Trade Global Review came at a moment when 'the new Gambia is taking her rightful place in the global community'. After '22 years of dictatorship and gross mismanagement of our economy', popular expectations for growth and development were high. Developing the country's productive sectors would create jobs, raise incomes, and reduce irregular migration, she said. (In per capita terms, the West African country has one of the continent's highest rates of outward irregular migration.

Source: Allafrica