Air of uncertainty continues to eat into the economy

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Gambia is being reeled off rapidly of its economic growth as the political impasse continues.

This is because as the political tension and uncertainty over the fate of the country goes on, with the standoff on whether or not the outgoing-president will hand over power just yet, many people and businesses are seriously cautious about their sail in trade and business transactions in the country.

The people are cautious in their spending pattern and firms and enterprises are growing wary about what the future holds for this peaceful country.

Presently there seems to be peace but the fact of the matter is that people are presently living in fear – fear of conflict and fear of economic downturn - as the nation’s economic activity steadily degenerates and makes life difficult by the day, since we are yet to know our fate.

And even if something of a change of heart is going to take place at the eleventh hour, by then the nation will have suffered the consequences of the current political standoff as the outgoing president maintains his position of rejecting the December 1 Election results and calling for fresh election.

For instance, the festive season – covering the Christmas holiday, Boxing Day and the New Year eve and the like – will certainly be unpalatable since all are living in fear and afraid to spend the resources at hand.

The condition in the business realm created by the political impasse has sparked out loud cries from many industries and sectors of development, and as the current situation persists its effects continue to trickle down to the lay man on the street.

Institutions, organisations, unions, industries and sectors, such as the Bar association, the teachers’ union, the trade union, even the University of The Gambia, the Chamber of Commerce, the Association of Real Estate Companies (AREC) among others, have all expressed their concern over the ensuing political impasse  in the country.

It is therefore essential that the standoff is discontinued and peaceful talks and means of handing over power commence as the transition period finishes by the day.

We would therefore like to reiterate our stance that the outgoing president see reasons and have a change of heart.

In reaction to the political situation, AREC states: “We, the Association of Real Estate Companies, call upon His Excellency President Yahya Jammeh to respect the will of the Gambian People and hand over power to the newly elected President His Excellency Adama Barrow.

“Your pronouncement has affected our business as this time of the year is the peak period of the tourism sector and most of our customers live abroad and are now afraid to come home due to the perceived instability of the country.

“On this note, we wish to add our voice to the statements made by the various institutions but more especially that of the Gambia Chamber of Commerce regarding the serious effects of this pronouncement on the economy.”

“People who consider themselves political, who follow political developments most rigorously, are often those who view the political process with the greatest lack of perspective”

The Point