QUESTION OF THE DAY

Foreign exchange is needed to service debts and pay for imports. In addition to this Gambia is also increasing its dependency on Senegal for energy, thus increasing the demand for foreign exchange to pay for energy.

As long as the demand for foreign exchange to service debts and pay for goods and services increases the value of the dalasi will appreciate; on the contrary the likelihood is for it to depreciate, thus leading to increase in the prices of imported commodities and more hardship to the consumer; a likely drop in their quality and more hardship.

The donor conference being held in Belgium should provide a lifeline to the economy in the short run. However financial discipline is the key instrument for attracting donor support. Contesting elections based on inducement and patronage does not help in ensuring financial discipline in handling public office. Salaries are not sufficient to meet the demands of an electorate that sees election period as a time to share the national cake.

Let us hope that all political parties will come to see that the purpose of seeking political office is to eradicate poverty and impunity, and not to strengthen both. Those who strengthen both are likely to meet public disapproval. This is the verdict of common sense and it is incontrovertible.

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