In his official launching statement, Mr. Keita said the launching of this new system was indeed a "great milestone" in the government's effort to improve efficiency and effectiveness in the customs clearance process.
"This state of the system, which will replace the current ASYCUDA++ system, will digitalise the entire customs clearance process, thus eliminating the need for human intervention."
"The implementation of this new system has the potential to enhance administrative efficiency, and improve the quality of international trade data," he added.
"It is pleasing to note that the ASYCUDA WORLD system will significantly enhance the ease and speed of doing business in The Gambia, which is essential for us to realise our dream of becoming competitive and a favourable destination for foreign direct investment."
"With the introduction of the AFCFTA and its potential to improve intra-Africa trade, the Ministry of Finance aims to position The Gambia to reap the gains envisaged under the AFCFTA."
"The launching of the ASYCUDA WORLD System therefore is a step in the right direction in our trade facilitation and ease of doing business agenda."
"It is also the realisation of the many benefits of the ASYCUDA WORLD System that motivated the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs to seek funding from the African Development Bank to implement this reform initiative."
For his part, the commissioner general of GRA, Yankuba Darboe, said the idea of organising an official launching ceremony for the introduction of the ASYCUDA World System was a testament of how significant this milestone is in "our reform agenda and the great potentials this new system presents in enhancing our customs business processes."
He further stated that the idea of digitalising "our revenue collection systems has been central in our previous and current corporate strategic plans."
"To achieve this objective, in 2018, the management of the Gambia Revenue Authority prevailed on the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, our line ministry, to seek funding from our development partners to upgrade from the current ASYCUDA++ version to the more advanced, more flexible and more user friendly ASYCUDA WORLD version."
The African Development Bank, he said, responded to "our funding request" and agreed to provide the required funding in the tune of about US$1.3 million to secure the ASYCUDA WORLD System from UNCTAD.
He thanked the African Development Bank for coming to their aid.