Sunday, February 5

Minister Joof Launches Gambia Competitiveness Improvement Forum

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Hon Baboucarr Joof, Minister of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration, and Employment has launched Gambia Competitiveness Improvement Forum (GamCIF), attended an event by over 130 invitees comprising the business community, cabinet ministers, permanent secretaries, and senior government officials.

Speaking on behalf of the Gambian Adama Barrow,  he expressed government commitment through the cabinet and its various structures to support GiEPA, citing the launch of the GamCIF as an example.

He further pledged his Ministry’s support and direction, adding the executive committee of the forum will be looking forward to the technical working groups chaired by permanent secretaries to start work in earnest in the first quarter of 2023 and report back to the forum accordingly for redress.

GamCIF a public-private platform established under the GiEPA Act 2015 (Section 78) was launched under the theme “Establishing “The Gambia as an Investment Hub. Advocating for a Friendlier Business Environment”.

The Act designates the President as Chairman of the GamCIF Executive Body comprising nine cabinet ministers, five private sector representatives, agencies and civil society representatives, ministries as well as other key stakeholder representatives.

The forum is a designated legislated body aiming to bring together all government stakeholders and harmonize synergy in an umbrella structured framework, to establish an enabling business and investment environment for The Gambia. The initiative is also meant to boost our country’s ease of doing business rankings globally, and improve job creation and our foreign exchange earnings for sustainable economic growth and development.

Ousainou Senghore, Chief Executive Officer of the Gambia Investment and Export Promotion Agency (GiEPA) in his remarks, expounded on the mandate of his agency which amongst other things include: promoting and facilitating investment and export; providing support for enterprise development; creating conducive business environment; and providing advocacy.

He further urged the business community to explore the vast potentials the GamCIF will provide including interchange between public-to-public, public-to-private, private-to-private, and civil society.

Senghore said this will help in providing policy recommendations for economic reforms meant to promote sustainable growth for our economy and showcase a competitive investment environment for all actors in a win-win situation.

For his part, Hon. Hamat Bah, Minister for Tourism and Culture expressed concern about the rising trend of competition amongst institutions tasked to bring change.

He urged that all support each other in a united direction to serve the common interest of the average Gambian and by far the business community.

He called on authorities to preserve land for investment and support GiEPA and all its collaborative partners to realize the implementation and success of the GamCIF.

He further warns against incompetence and measures targeted to discourage efficiency in public institutions adding ‘President Barrow’s government has zero tolerance for sabotage, mongering, and duplication of precious government resources meant to serve the taxpayer’.

The composition of the GamCIF includes The President of the Republic, The Minister of Trade, Finance, Justice, Information, Communications, Higher Education, Agriculture, Lands, Tourism, and Fisheries; the Governor of the Central Bank, the Commissioner General of the Gambia Revenue Authority, the Managing Director of the Gambia Ports Authority, the Chief Executive Officer of GiEPA, Five Private Sector Representatives nominated by the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Nine Civil Society Representatives.