The deputy governor of the Central Bank of the Gambia, Paul Mendy, has said that in 2020, GDP grew by 0.6% and in 2021 it was estimated to have grown by 4.3%. However, he added that the financial sector remains stable and resilient, with robust liquidity and capital adequacy ratios.
He said supply shocks persist, and the uncertain global economic environment has dampened consumer and business confidence in the domestic economy. “On the other hand, we have the will and the commitment to resolving the challenges that lie ahead.”
He made these remarks while delivering a speech on behalf of the governor during the Annual Gambia Bankers Award Night held on Saturday 25 June at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Conference Centre.
According to the deputy governor, with private sector participation and effective domestic resource mobilisation, sustainable and inclusive growth is not beyond reach in this country.
“As part of its inclusive finance and financial deepening, the central Bank of The Gambia in collaboration with development partners launched the financial inclusion strategy, which is aimed at boarding the unbanked part of the community.”
He also stated that the CBG also adopted the digitalisation agenda to promote among others, interoperability of all payment platforms, including mobile phone companies and the promotion of fintech start-ups.
He cited that digitalisation improves efficiency in terms of speed and costs of transactions, hence promoting financial inclusiveness. He indicated that the digital revolution is therefore changing the payments landscape, as big technology and fintech firms move into financial services.
“Consequently, payments are no longer a commercial bank monopoly.”
According to the deputy governor, digitalisation might not eliminate structural barriers to inclusiveness; “it can mitigate some of the market imperfections inhibiting inclusiveness.”
“Already, several central banks around the world are considering the introduction of central bank digital currencies, which represent fiat currency in digital form, with sovereign backing.”
However, he added that digitalisation alone is not the silver bullet capable of eliminating all of these challenges. “It requires the cooperation of all stakeholders, particularly in the establishment of key institutions such as the proposed capital market, interoperability of all payment platforms including banks, mobile wallet providers and other fintech services.”