The Ministry of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment (MoTIE), have reported that Minister Baboucarr Ousmaila Joof, the new Minister holding the portfolio at the above Ministry, recently commenced a five day familiarisation tour of industries, agencies and departments under his purview, as well as the border posts of Amdalai, Farafenni and Giboro.Accompanied by senior staff of his ministry, the Minister’s first point of call was at Salam Cement Factory along the Banjul-Serrekunda Highway.
Speaking to the press shortly after a conducted tour of the factory, Joof stated that his Ministry has considered synchronising the industrialisation process with the country’s development. “We did not just come here to look for errors or problems. We wanted to come in and share our expertise and experience with you to help build a resilient genuine Gambia,” he stated.
He pointed out that if one invests in industrialisation in this country, they are enabling the economy to flow.
Having expressed satisfaction with the level of investment, production and progress made by the factory, coupled with the expansion project, the minister observed that Salam Cement and Steel factory are in a position to satisfy the domestic market with their products. He also urges them to expand their production.
He expressed optimism that the factory has the possibility to target markets beyond the borders within the framework of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.
“I have documented some of the challenges they are facing. Thus, we will go back as a Government to find ways to ameliorate some of these challenges in order to ease the burden on the company and enable them increase employment and production. So, I am really fascinated by what I saw and I would like to thank Mr Sillah for this venture,” he stated.
For his part, Mr Muhammed Sillah, the proprietor of Salam Cement, said that they produce steel pipes, tubes and steel rods and cement in the country, a ‘made in Gambia’ brand. Producing cement, he added, is a very challenging work but assured that they will produce quality cement.