By Kebba Jeffang

The Gambia Government has signed an agreement of 210 million US dollars with the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), to boost the agricultural and energy sectors. The signing ceremony was held at the office of the Vice-President in Banjul on 16th January 2018.

Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO of ITFC said his visit is to finalise the three-year plan of action 2018-21, as the Gambia has also completed its National Development Plan for the same period; that the project will help the Gambia eradicate the aflatoxin fungus and enhance the quality of the groundnut produced in the country for local consumption and export into the European and other International markets; that his organization will study the possibility for its extension to the national level.

“The areas of importance that we will be focusing on are agriculture and energy. We have signed the framework agreement which include trade-finance and we will be offering them to these sectors. We are also expanding our assistance to trade development as well as to build the capacity of workers in the export promotion agencies and supervise training programmes,” he said.

The VP and Minister of Women’s Affairs, Fatoumata Jallow-Tambajang hailed ITFC for their support to the country; that the support has affirmed that the Gambia is seeking to improve its economy to consolidate economic growth, create jobs and build a better future for her people.

“It is worth mentioning that ITFC’s coverage has spanned 41 countries and over 180 clients from the Middle East, Africa, Asia and South America. Through trade financing and trade development efforts in the agriculture, energy and industrial sectors, ITFC solutions have touched the lives of thousands of people and contributed to the socio-economic development of member countries,” she said.

As per the agreement, ITFC is to support key economic sectors, including energy, through the importation of refined petroleum products, and agriculture, through the importation of fertilizer and the provision of pre-export financing for agricultural produce notably groundnuts and cashew nuts, the main agricultural produce/exports of the country.

The Agreement will also extend the cooperation with The Gambia to Trade Development programs for poverty reduction by providing technical and or financial support for capacity building, Information exchange and knowledge dissemination.

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