Kebba AF Touray
The Gambia Bankers Association, GBA, Saturday July 14th 2018, commemorated its third Annual Bankers Day, at a local hotel in Senegambia. The event brought together members of the association to interact, discuss and highlight their successes, as well as identify their challenges, in order to provide solutions for the way forward.
The association which was established in 2016, by commercial bank MDs, has the objective of promoting sound professional banking practice, as well as build public confidence in the banking system in the country. It encourages fair, professional and proper banking transactions, as well as liaising with Government and stakeholder agencies where necessary, in furthering the aims and objectives of the association, on international standards and best practices. The association is active in protecting and developing professional interests of members, through quality and professional training.
Speaking on the Anniversary, The President of Gambia Bankers Association Nuha Marena, said the event was meant for the membership to come together and highlight their achievements and identify the lapses with the ultimate goal of charting the means, to overcome them; that the association has become a critical part of the banking industry, where they congregate on a quarterly basis to renew events and happenings in the financial sector. He recognized their collaboration with The Central Bank of The Gambia and expressed hope of continuity, with a view to ensuring that the financial sector is sound, robust, and transparent and above all serves the interest of their esteem customers.
Marena said in their quest to develop the capacity of members, the association has established The Gambia Institute of Bankers, where they train professionals. He assured the citizenry that the Bankers Association is working for them to ensure that their savings are managed to the best of their ability.
PS Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, said the economic outlook in 2018 GDP growth is expected to rise to 5.5 percent, whereas inflation is projected to drop to about 5.25 percent; that international reserves is projected to about four month of 2019 import of goods and services.
“Although the outlook on agriculture is not as expected, Tourism is expected to remain positive as wells as improvement in regional and international trade, due to improved relationship between The Gambia and Senegal,” he said; that the import volume has picked up significantly, aided largely by an improved business environment; that however the room for greater trade volume is hampered by limited capacity at the Banjul Sea Port, requiring huge capital investment for improvement.
The PS stated that the global growth is on track to reach about 4 percent in 2018 and 2019, and that helping to drive this output acceleration is faster growth in the Euro area, Japan, China and United States, all of which grew greatly last year with recovery in the commodity exporters.
On macro physical update, he said the Gambian economy is under recovery, with economic growth of 3% of GDP in 2017, compared to 2.2 percent in 2016; that in the medium term, growth is projected to 4 percent, wherein headline inflation has declined from 8.8 percent in January 2017, to 7. 4 percent in October 2017, reflecting the stabilization in the dalasi and the gradual decrease in food prices. He said average consumer price as at end 2016 stood at 7.2 percent, but accelerated to 8.1 percent by end year 2017; that with improved physical management, inflation is expected to decelerate to 6.2 percent by end 2018 and 5.3 percent in2019.
“The current account deficit excluding budget support, is expected to remain broadly stable at around 15 percent of GDP. International reserves are projected to stabilize at 4 months of import cover, whereas public debt is at an alarming level of 120 percent of the GDP,” he concludes.