Economic activity in Sub-Saharan Africa remains robust

Monday, March 11, 2019

Gambia’s central bank governor Bakary Jammeh said last week that economic activity in Sub-Saharan Africa remain robust, supported mainly by domestic policy adjustments, improved external environment and favorable commodity prices.

Speaking at a recent Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting at the Central Bank in Banjul, where Gambia’s economy was reviewed, governor Jammeh said the region is projected to grow at an average of 3.5% in 2019 from 2.9% in 2018.

At the domestic front of the real sector in The Gambia, he said economic activity continues to gather strength, evidenced by increased activity in construction, tourism, distributive trade and financial intermediation.

“Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is estimated to have grown by 4.6% in 2017, higher than 0.4% in 2016. Growth is expected to remain solid in 2018 and 2019, on the back of continued implementation of sound macroeconomic policies and structural reforms,” he stated.

On exchange rate development, governor Jammeh explained that volume of transactions in the domestic foreign exchange market, measured by aggregate purchases and sales of foreign currency stood at US$2.0 billion in the year end-December 2018, higher than US$1.3 billion in the same period last year. “The strong performance reflects growing market confidence and improved supply conditions. Purchases of foreign currency (indicating supply) increased markedly by 43.6% to US$975.8 million in the year end-December 2018 from US$679.6 million in 2017. Similarly, sales of foreign currency, which indicates demand, increased significantly by 46.4% to US$979.7 million in the review period,” he stated.  

Author: Pa Modou Cham