Jan 24, 2012, 1:53 PM
The project launching, held at Farato on 14 October 2014, was attended by many government officials and members of the private sector, civil society, community and development partners.
In delivering a statement on behalf of the President, the Vice President and Minister of Women’s Affairs, Aja Dr. Isatou Njie-Saidy, said:
“As we celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the July 22nd Revolution, it gives me great pleasure once again to inaugurate an investment project of the magnitude we have before us.
“The scope and focus of this investment embodies the very essence of answering to my government’s call to grow what we eat and eat what we grow.”
“It is gratifying to note that the local Gambian private sector is taking up the opportunities and leading by example, and this sends a positive signal to foreign investors, and gives them the confidence to invest in The Gambia.
“For us to attract foreign direct investment, it is essential that the local investors set the pace and create the best reference by showing what is on the ground.
“In The Gambia, we offer all investors unique and great opportunities for financially- and economically-rewarding investments. We have established an enabling trade and investment environment that takes into consideration the needs of investors and consumers, as well as international trade and investment standards and norms.
“The Gambia continues to enjoy robust and stable growth, mainly due to the country’s prudent fiscal and monetary policies. We would continue to support domestic consumption, as well as export to the international markets.
“My government will also continue to enable and support all stakeholders to ensure that the business and investment climate is vibrant and more competitive.
“Over the last 20 years, my government has undertaken many efforts to transform The Gambia into a private sector-led economy. One such effort is the Gambia Growth and Competitiveness Project (GGCP) whose development objective is to improve the investment climate and strengthen the competitiveness of key sectors of the Gambia Economy.
“Under this project, EMPAS has been provided with a grant support of $120,000 of which they contributed 20 per cent of the cost for the development of a pilot poultry out-grower program. The objective is to develop poultry farming in the West Coast Region by identifying potential poultry farmers to build their capacities, and also provide them with Day-Old Chicks and technical support to become skilled poultry farmers with increased production and income.
“In addition, the GCP is now in its final stages to provide grants up to a value of US$500,000 or GMD21.5 million in the form of non cash support to direct fund activities, capital inputs and technical services to support a successful, investor-led and commercially viable poultry out-grower scheme across the country.
“EMPASS Poultry Production and processing was granted investment incentives in the form of the GIEPA Special Investment Certificate (SIC) back in June 2012 and other supportive measures to, among other things, help to wean the country off imported poultry products, create employment and boost the national capacity to export poultry products in the long run.
“The multiplier effects of this investment transcends employment creation and food self-sufficiency, and goes to incorporate improvements in trade imbalance, preservation of hard currency reserves, reduction in dependency ratio and improved business and consumer confidence.
“My administration is a staunch believer of private sector-led growth, and hence the creation of the Public Private Partnership Unit at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs to better streamline private sector participation in national development.
“As a government, we have undertaken and will continue to undertake initiatives and investment particularly in infrastructure, human resource development, ICT and innovation to provide the desired enabling environment to not only attract investments, but to also provide them with the necessary support for them to be profitable and sustainable.
“As a strong advocate, I have reiterated many times that if The Gambia is to make a serious headway into its developmental aspirations, it must see Agriculture as the most sustainable way of achieving food self-sufficiency, economic prosperity and shared success.
“EMPASS had yielded to the national call for the channelling of investments into the designated investment priority sectors.
“The multi-million dollar investment is an embodiment of patriotism and selflessness in the pursuit of the best of the nation.
“My administration through the Ministry of Trade, Industry Regional Integration and Employment and, in particular, GIEPA will continue to support and widen private sector contributions in national development through creating the enabling investment climate and better realignment of investment incentives to the investment priority sectors for the collective good of all.
“This project is laudable and, at the very minimum, emblematic of the true sense of patriotism in the context of the July 22nd 1994 Revolution. It cannot be anything less than a sheer dedication to the pursuit of national interest at the highest level.
“May I take this opportunity to reassure all stakeholders of my government’s commitment to partner and work with all of you to realize the goals of Vision 2020.
“Notwithstanding the positive achievements registered, we are committed to undertaking the necessary reforms to make our institutions more efficient and effective, improve the legal and regulatory environment, reduce the cost of doing business and improve our competitiveness.
“I call on the private sector to invest in the priority sectors of the economy in the safe knowledge that Government will provide all the necessary support.”
Mr. Edrissa Mass Jobe chairman of EMHolding, in his speech said:
“About my principal duty today, I am genuinely grateful for the opportunity to pay public tribute to His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh Babili Mansa, Our honourable Leader, Our Inspiration and Chief Gueast of Honour for making this project and this event come true for all of us.
“Your Excellency, we are grateful for your leadership and generosity – we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for not only inspiring EMPAS, but for your support and encouragement.
“Your Excellency, allow me to express my congratulations to you and through you the entire Gambian citizenry, for the 20th Anniversary of the July 22nd Revolution.
“I join the entire nation to manifest our highest appreciation of the way you have shepherded the affairs of this country, resulting in changing not only thephysical landscape but engendering pride, hope, patriotism and self-reliance in all of us.
Edrissa Mass Jobe went on to say, among other things, that “leadership is about aspiring to lofty goals and un-compromisingly pursuing these goals. I want to thank the President for his leadership and courage and for setting the loftiest goal of all for The Gambia: “The Sky Is The Limit”.
“This project that we are about to launch today was inspired by one of the greatest leaders of our time and a true manifestation of the new Gambia - Bold, Confident, Patriotic and Pan African…
“The President of the Republic has been consistent in his position of Food Self Sufficiency and Indigenization for 20 years. This coupled with the Infrastructure initiatives of the Government since 1994 are opening new avenues of Commerce and Industrial Development.
“For The Gambia, the Vision 2020 is our stake in the ground. In it, we have jointly outlined our aspiration for the type of future we want for our children and grandchildren…
“Sir, we believe in your vision that by the end of this decade a Gambia would emerge - industrialised and commercialised, exporting processed products – rice, chicken, fish, mango etc. to the rest of the world.
“EMPAS Poultry was created as our modest and direct response to His Excellency’s call for Food Security and it is with great honour and pride that we inform His Excellency that the EMPAS Integrated Poultry Scheme is now operational with:
A Hatchery Capacity of 100,000 Day-Old Chicks per month for local poultry farmers, both Layer and Broiler.
A Broiler Farm with a production capacity of 30,000 birds per month. The farm serves as a Centre for Excellence and training of farmers in the out-grower scheme.
An Out-Grower Scheme where farmers will be provided with Day-Old Chicks, extension service and the possibility to buy-back their broilers.
A processing and packaging plant with a capacity of 1,500 birds per hour.
The processing plant will meet the highest standards of food Hygiene and can process up to 15,000 birds per day.
“Sir, to produce 100,000 dressed broilers and 1,500,000 eggs per month - a capacity which already exist on the ground - the country would require to grow 4,000 tonnes of corn annually.
“Sir, poultry is the conversion of corn to protein and The Gambia is suitable for corn growing.
“EMPAS seeks the support of the government to commence a 500-hectare corn farm as catalyst for a corn out-grower scheme.
“However, the major challenge to a sustainable, local poultry industry is the continuous ‘dumping’ of products in Africa at export prices well below the production cost in Europe. This is evidently an anomaly considering the distance, sea freight, freezing, port charges and handling costs…
Your Excellency, we have noted the support your government is giving to the emerging agro-industries - the stoppage of importation of flour, the curtailment of the importation of onions and now we seek that Gambia can stop the importation of chicken.
“The Gambian farmers are ready to take the challenge of raising broilers, especially in the urban areas for the market and for our factory. He noted that EMPAS is also ready to provide the Day-Old Chicks required for both Layer and Broiler Farming.
“Your Excellency, EMPAS has installed today in The Gambia a state –of-the-art Hatchery and Slaughterhouse rivalling any in the sub region. We thanked the Allah Almighty for your vision and consistency in your crusade for economic independence. Our project is another milestone of your numerous achievements in the last twenty years.”
About Mr. Edrissa Mass Jobe
Edrissa Mass Jobe is one of The Gambia’s leading entrepreneurs and a corporate strategist. Edrissa has been involved in the initiation, formulation, design and implementation of significant projects in The Gambia, Senegal, Guinea Conakry and across West Africa.
Edrissa’s core expertise is in project development; enterprise management and governance; value chain and retail management; network planning; mergers and acquisitions; brand value development and social enterprise.
After a brief career as the Gambia’s first hospitals engineer responsible for the maintenance and estate of all medical facilities in the country, Edrissa joined Shell in 1989 as sales manager and technical adviser.
For 12 years, Edrissa worked in the petroleum downstream sector for shell in many countries across West Africa in engineering, retail operations, business strategy and brand management, complex projects (depots, product launches, change) and country entries.
In 2000 he became a regional director for the FMCGbusiness of Shell in 17 countries and responsible for the enhancement of brand value and network of over 500 retail outlets.
In 2001 he joined Elton as a founder member and developed the business in The Gambia from inception to the largest petroleum distribution network, both as CEO and major local shareholder.
In the non-petroleum sector, Edrissa has served as the chairman of the Gambia Telecommunications Company and Gambia Cellular Company for 5 years.
Edrissa has been involved with the development and expansion of the FI Bank Group, creating a network of banks and insurance companies in West, Central and East AFRICA.
Edrissa is the chairman of FI Bank Gambia and Guinea and a Director of the FI Bank Group.
Edrissa was responsible for the setting up of Slok Air as the Executive Vice Chairman, operating a fleet of 6 Boeing 737-200 series across West Africa.
In 2003, he resigned from Elton as group CEO to focus on developing EMHolding Social Enterprise. Edrisssa initiated and implemented the EMPASpoultry processing company as an integrated value-chain project combining agro-industry (hatchery, processing and packaging) with out-grower schemes (nuclear farms, centers for excellence) and marketing network.
Education: BSc (Hons.) Mechanical Engineering (University Manchester Institute of Science and Technology); post-graduate Mdiploma in business administration (Henley Management) and MBA (University of Wales).
Professional training and experience: Leadership, Network Planning, Brand Management, Retail Management, Project Management, FMCG Category Management.