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Four Institutions benefit from US$12M growth and competitiveness project

Sep 6, 2012, 9:20 AM | Article By: Yusuf Ceesay

Four institutions namely, BSC farms, Asset, Relax Sahel Investment and Gambia is Good yesterday signed letters of agreement under the Marching Grant Facility (MGF) scheme at a ceremony held at the Ministry of Finance annex in Kotu.

The MGF is a sub-component of the World Bank-funded US$12 million Growth and Competitiveness Program (GCP).

The objective of the initiative is to provide matching grant support to qualified micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) and eligible private sector enterprises to become more competitive, grow their businesses, and create jobs, among others.

The project is expected to help the Gambia’s private sector successfully partake and grow in the domestic and international market.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Naffie Barry, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment, described the occasion as important in that the Growth and Competitiveness project itself was launched with high expectations.

“The purpose of having the GCP is to promote private sector development, with particular emphasis on MSME,” she said, while emphasizing the need for this component of the project to be effective.

“All we have to say is that we have huge expectations on the project; we want that to be maintained”, PS Barry stated.

She challenged the beneficiaries to keep the momentum to make sure that the project objectives will be achieved.

Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Babucarr Sompo-Ceesay, proprietor of BSC farms revealed that expectations have been realized at the first step, noting that the signing of the project will efficiently promote their business.

Noting that the project will most importantly help them to deepen their competitiveness, Sompo-Ceesay urged his fellow beneficiaries to utilize the funds properly, and assured all that they will live up to expectations.

Modou Njie, the MGF manager, said this was the second of its kind, noting that the first one was done two weeks ago when they signed agreements with seven farms and NGOs operating in the MSME sub sector.

“The project is here to transform an NGO to an enterprise, and that is its ultimate objective,” he revealed.

While expressing optimism that the project will have huge impacts, Njie said they have outreach programmes in all sectors across the country, especially in groundnut and horticulture, which will have a great impact on the country as far the economy is concerned.

Tamsir Manga, project coordinator of the GCP, urged beneficiaries to work with the GCP team so as to make the project objectives realized.