By Mustapha Jarju & Aminata AP Ceesay
The Gambia Government in collaboration with the World Bank office in The Gambia Tuesday held the World Bank annual Country Portfolio Performance Review (CPPR) in the Gambia, at an event held at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Centre, Bijilo.
This annual event is an opportunity for the World Bank to assess the performance of its portfolio in the Gambia discuss implementation challenges, and identify solutions to further improve World Bank’s programs in the country.
Keiko Miwa, the World Bank Country Director to the Gambia while giving his welcoming remark said the World Bank is trying to be bigger, faster, and more effective which enables their engagement at the country level.
“Talking about being bigger, the Gambia Portfolio has experienced a significant gross recently, and our current portfolio now is USD653 million this fiscal year this compared to USD60 million in fiscal year 16. We have come 10 times bigger in terms of size of our portfolio in just some 7 years,” said the World Bank Country Director.
She said the current portfolio is 6 active national projects with a total commitment of $328 million, with additional active activities with a net commitment of $225 million.
Madam Keiko added that the World Bank has a robust pipeline of a new upcoming project planned for approval this fiscal year, which will be about D170 million centered around key priority areas such as governance, agriculture, and other developments.
She encouraged participants from different working groups to contribute to the collective effort in achieving project outcomes, “Together we can make effective implementation of our projects, a positive impact on the development of the Gambia”, she stressed.
Minister of Finance and Economics Affairs, Honourable Seedy Keita while giving his opening remarks of the event said the technicians are working hard in implementing the country’s National Development Plan that seeks to transform the economy of the Gambia and improve the economy of the country.
“The outcome of this year’s CPPR serves as a useful purpose for ongoing and pipeline projects for good project management strategies that will contribute to the attainment of our development objective and seeing the improvement of livelihood of Gambians,” said the Finance Minister.
Honourable Keita said with such a good strategy, will the Gambia attract more resources to complement the efforts of the Gambia’s development agenda.
The Minister thanked the World Bank for increasing the Gambia’s envelope size, “as we speak the portfolio consists of 6 national projects amounting to USD328million with additional 5 regional projects amounting to USD225million covering education, agriculture energy, health, climate resilience and coastal communities”.