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World Bank lead donor for Gambia - DPS Finance

Apr 5, 2012, 1:22 PM | Article By: Lamin B. Darboe

In terms of the volume of financial support, the World Bank still continues to be the lead donor for The Gambia and provides strong support to key government policies like agriculture, education, trade and recently the telecommunications sector to help achieve the development objectives of the country, Mrs Isatou Faal, deputy permanent secretary at the ministry of finance has said.

In her opening remarks Wednesday at a day-long forum to review and finalize the completion of the first phase of the African Development Bank/World Bank Joint Assistance Strategy, Mrs Faal said the World Bank is currently financing twelve projects in The Gambia including trust funds with a total commitment of about US$100.8 million of which the sum of US$49.7 million has been disbursed as at end March 2011.

Held at the Ocean Bay Hotel in Cape Point, the forum brought together stakeholders to brainstorm on the Joint Assistance Strategy for the period 2008-2011, and also discuss the second phase of the Joint Assistance Strategy to run from 2012-2015.

It among others provides an opportunity for review of the progress of the implementation of Government projects and programmes financed by the African Development Bank (ABD) Group and the World Bank, and map out new strategies for improved efficiency and effectiveness as enshrined in the Paris Declaration of Aid Effectiveness.

Also highlighting the portfolios of the African Development Bank (ADB), Faal said this consists of nine projects, with a total commitment of UA40.1 million of which an amount of UA22.4 million (45.9%) was disbursed as of March 2011.

This, she said, ranks the ADB as the second largest donor for The Gambia.

“By sectoral distribution, seven projects are in the agriculture sector constituting 76.6% whilst the social and multi-sector with commitments of 20% and 3.4% respectively,” she said, adding that the efforts of the Bank towards the attainment of the development objectives of the Gambia government, especially in the agriculture sector, are commendable.

The ADB portfolio for The Gambia, she said, was rated very good in recent years, and that just about a week ago, a portfolio review was conducted and all the ADB projects were found to be performing satisfactorily.

Presenting a paper on the review of phase one of the JAS, Jamal E. Zayid, a representative from the African Development Bank said the 2008-2011 JAS had two pillars - strengthening institutional framework for economic management; and, public service delivery.

The mid-term review of the strategy, he said, showed that there had been good progress under both pillars, with no major changes required for the remaining period.

According to Mr. Zayid, progress under pillar one had been stronger that on pillar two.

Under pillar two, he added, agriculture did well with the bulk of projects from AfDB while WB’s plans to engage more in agriculture are well founded.

He said important lesson learnt are significant in leveraging resources outside IDA and ADF allocations which are relatively small.

Barbara Weber, World Bank senior operations officer for Cape Verde, The Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Mali and Senegal also made a presentation at the forum.