Commonwealth Meridian to support Gambia’s sovereign debt management

Thursday, March 21, 2019

The Commonwealth Meridian has expressed its resolve to support The Gambia’s sovereign debt management, according to statement from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs.

The Commonwealth Secretariat’s new public debt management system and Commonwealth Meridian designed to manage sovereign debt, is expected to replace the Commonwealth’s flagship software tool CS-DRMS, which is currently used in more than 60 countries.

The Gambia government, according to a statement from the Ministry of Finance, has been selected as one of the early adopters of the new system following the handover of the system by the developers in January 2019.

The system which is web-based has enhanced functionalities to manage critical public debt portfolios such as borrowing, lending, contingent liabilities and financial derivatives.

The Commonwealth Meridian is a comprehensive solution that promotes effective and pro-active public debt management to foster accountability and transparency through data driven workflow and is organised around a central repository of data from which key stakeholders can access at real time.

A two-member delegation from the Commonwealth Secretariat’s debt management unit will soon commence the groundwork for the implementation of the new system.

Pamella McLaren, head of Debt Management Unit at the Commonwealth Secretariat, said she has high expectations that the system would be the centerpiece to support effective public debt management in the country.

Mac Banda, IT system and team leader at the Commonwealth Secretariat, made a presentation of the system among policymakers, who were impressed with the features of the system and are looking forward to using the system to inform debt management decisions to promote debt sustainability.

Ebrima Darboe, director of Loans and Debt Management at the ministry, said the mission could not have come at a better time than now, considering the challenges they face, especially the outdated current version of the CS-DRMS and its limited functionality currently in use at the ministry to record and manage the public debt portfolio.

The new debt recording system, according to him, would effectively enhance public debt management and analysis.

“The government of The Gambia extends its sincere appreciation to the Commonwealth Secretariat for the milestone they have taken in providing the new recording software,” he added.

Author: Pa Modou Cham