(Issue for Monday 5th August 2019)
Speaking at the organised ILO/ACTRAV Gambia Trade Union Bureau (GAMTUB), trade union leaders forum last Tuesday, Rubby Randall identified the four pillar pathways to prosperity as regional integration, which is the main driver for transformational change that can help catapult The Gambia on the “pathway to prosperity,” and its impact can be felt through three enabling channels including “facilitation of enhanced trade in goods and services, such as tourism, as well as increased private capital inflows, and remittances from Gambians working abroad.” She added that “this will further boost foreign exchange reserves and strengthen confidence in the Dalasi.
She explained that “regional infrastructure development which can be transformational is crucial to ensuring sustained growth in The Gambian context; citing the case of the Senegambia Bridge investment, which could create a new trans-shipment hub for the region; development of the Transgambia corridor within ECOWAS. Moreover, the ongoing expansion of tourism-related infrastructure includes new hotels, roads, and other amenities.”
This she said will attract more tourists and will help rebrand The Gambia’s tourism, while providing better connections to the region.
The second pillar to prosperity she stated, is the pursuit of macroeconomic stability, maintaining macroeconomic stability and unlocking donor support which she said is essential.
The IMF resident representative further outlined the other two pillars; which she said are fostering inclusive growth and addressing social needs. The fourth one, she said is legislative reforms to create a more enabling environment for private investment. In this regard, she said “revisiting the labour laws and ensuring consistency with regional norms and international best practice, strengthening the rule of law and increasing accountability and transparency in government is also critically important for peace and stability and attracting private investment.”
On financial mismanagement in the country, Madam Randall stated that “the Janneh Commission revealed the extent of financial mismanagement and misappropriation during the previous regime.”
In light of the above, she said more focused efforts will be needed to recover stolen domestic and foreign assets following the release of the report and the accompanying White Paper. She added that expediting the establishment of the Anti-Corruption Commission, following the approval of the draft bill, is critically important for accountability and necessary to help prevent a reoccurrence of the mistakes of the past.