By Mariatou Ngum
The Minister of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment representing the President of the Republic, His Excellency Mr. Adama Barrow yesterday presided over the launch of Kolomoni Microfinance Institution at a ceremony held at the Oasis in Kololi.
The event was attended by the Gambia Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mohamadou Papa Njie, and members of the Kolomoni Microfinance Institution.
Delivering a statement on behalf of President Adama Barrow at the launch, Hon Baboucar Ousmaila Joof expressed delight to be associated with the launch of Kolomoni, a revolutionary financial institution aimed at deepening the national inclusion agenda. “My government recognises the significance of a vibrant financial sector if we are going to realize the goal of economic prosperity for our citizens,” he said.
He revealed that, in 2022, the government launched the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) which aims among other things, to give access to financial services to about 70 percent of adult Gambians by 2025. Financial inclusion, he said, is a critical aspect of their vision for a prosperous and thriving Gambia. “There are myriad opportunities for us to realize as a country if opportunities are availed to our industrious men and women entrepreneurs. Wider access to financial services by the majority of the population will foster business growth, job creation, and a possible proliferation of start-ups by the creative Gambian youth which will place us in a pole position toward building a better future for ourselves and our families,” he stated.
He pointed out that the launch of Kolomoni will undoubtedly increase access to financial services by millions of people, including small, micro and medium enterprises, entrepreneurs, farmers, and women kafos. Kolomoni as a financial services provider, he said, promises a unique opportunity to roll out several consumer-centric products to the doorsteps of customers.
“I have been reliably informed that your services will help champion financial inclusion by leveraging on the proliferation of FINTECH technologies and the high cell phone penetration rate in The Gambia. Your business proposition compliments our country’s efforts to reach nationwide financial inclusion in a united and sustained manner and resonates with our blueprint Green recovery focused National Development Plan,” he said.
Hon Joof expressed further his excitement about the potential of the launching saying “it will strengthen the excellent bilateral relationship between The Gambia and the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a result of this business initiative.”