Monday, September 25

MoTIE, MoECCNR dialogue on accessing trade related climate change financing

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By Yunus S Saliu

The Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment in partnership with the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources through the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) Secretariat, Wednesday, 14th September 2022 held a high-level dialogue on accessing trade-related climate change financing for the public sector officials.

The explanatory and interactive dialogue was held at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Center, Bijilo, and was attended by dignitaries including the deputy executive director of Enhanced Integrated Framework Secretariat; the ambassador of the Gambian Embassy to the Swiss confederation, and Permanent Mission to the WTO; Turkish deputy ambassador to the Gambia; Permanent Secretaries of MoECCNR; MoFEA; MoTIE and among other.

The occasion provided an opportunity for the participants to enhance their knowledge of the procedure and process of accessing trade-related climate change finance in the context of green value chain development and support the implementation of the Trade Policy 2018.

Honourable Queen Lamin Jammeh, Minister of Information presiding over the opening of the dialogue on behalf of the overseer of the MoTIE, Honourable Seedy Keita (Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs), dilated on the long-standing relationship that the government of The Gambia has with EIF Secretariat, which since 2010 The Gambia and EIF Secretariat has implemented several projects under the EIF programme.

“The EIF programme continues to support our national processes, particularly in the area of mainstreaming trade in our National Development Plans. EIF funded projects in The Gambia totaled more than USD7.6 million, and through the various supported projects we have made great strides in building trade institutional capacities, making our private sector more competitive, and developing value-added capabilities for export diversification,” he pointed out.

With the support of EIF, he said, the MoTIE is currently working with over 90 women-owned businesses under SheTrades initiatives being implemented in collaboration with ITC and also “under the EIF, the Ministry was able to conduct an E-commerce and Digital Economy Assessment to identify the key gaps that need to be addressed and support the development of E-commerce ecosystem in The Gambia.”

The Honourable Minister thanked EIF for all the technical and financial support given to The Gambia since 2010 and in particular towards the preparations of this event, in extension he thanked the MoECCNR for the collaboration on this event.

Honourable Rohey John Manjang, Minister of MoECCNR said climate change is one of the most important discourses in the whole world that has left no stone unturned “it is affecting everybody almost at the same pace now.”

She noted that industrial countries contributed more than 80 percent of these emissions but countries like the Gambia which contributed an insignificant percent is also hit by the impact of climate change.

“Now is the time for us to respond and go away from the norm of business as usual by taking the bold step and voluntarily take charge of not doing things in the usual way that we want by redesigning things in such a way it will be environmentally friendly and respond to the adaptation of climate changes,” she urged.

She applauded the engagement of the EIF Secretariat for supporting the climate change dialogue to make sure that each and every one can come together to respond to the climate change adaptation mitigation process while as well extended appreciation to MoTIE.

HE Annette Ssemuwemba, deputy executive director of the EIF Secretariat expressed her Secretariat delights to participate in the dialogue, and “in addition to our participation in the event we will also be following up on some projects that we are supporting to build institutional and productive capacity here, in the Gambia.”

She said they are indeed pleased with the efforts in the Gambia to directly strengthen the linkages between trade and the environment community at the country level as they already learned a lot from the presentation made on some projects in place already we want to congratulate you.

With the Gambia being only one of the three currently involved in the WTO trade and environmental sustainability structure discussions (TSSD) and events like today “it is clear that the Gambia is one of such pioneers.”

She added that Climate change has already resulted in changing rainfall patterns and extreme weather events leading to destructions in trade supply chains.

EIF is a partnership of 51 countries 24 donors and 8 partner agencies working closely with governments, development organizations, and civil societies to support the least developed countries in integrating data into global trade, she disclosed.

In appreciation, she commended the foresight of the government of the Gambia for hosting the event and assembling world-class expertise from home and abroad to discuss the issue.

She as well spoke on mitigation and several win-win projects underway with both environmental and social benefits while she reiterated EIF Secretariat support for The Gambia.

In his opening remarks, Lamin Dampha, Permanent Secretary at MoTIE disclosed that The Gambia is a commodity-dependent country, while the government’s commitment to addressing climate change-related issues, using trade and trade-related policy instruments to help transform and enhance the competitiveness of the economy, support private sector though development is still marred with challenges.