By Nelson Manneh
Delegates from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs on Tuesday the 19th of June 2018 met with private sector representatives at the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) main hall in Bijilo.
The meeting according to the stakeholders is to enlighten the private sector representatives on the pledges given to the government of The Gambia during their meeting in Brussels, Belgium.
The delegates from the Ministry of Finance used the opportunity to inform the private sector representatives that the pledges are partly loans and partly grants and they go beyond the National Development Plan (NDP).
Mr Lamin Camara, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Finance said the National Development Plan (NDP) was developed in collaboration with all the necessary partners. That initially it was not easy for them but at the end of the day they were able to come out with something that was presented to the Donors during their meeting in Brussels.
“I can say that the Grants were 50% and the loans too were 50%. The private sector is very important to us, that is why we cannot leave it out. We are partners in development together with it,” he said.
Mr Lamin Jobe the Principal Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist at the Ministry of Finance who shared the outcome of their meeting in Brussels with the private sector representatives said that the donor conference was divided into two folders. On the first day the Gambia Government presented their NDP and also had a round table discussion with the different countries and organisations represented there.
“Forty-three countries and ten organisations were represented. We were pledged with a lot of money but some was in a form of a loan and others in a form of a grant,” he said.
While pointing out that the private sector is the engine of growth, Mr Jobe said that their ministry is working hard to make sure that they come out with good strategic plans and projects that will benefit and improve the lives of the Gambians and will also attract the donors.
He showed a list of the pledges to the representatives.
The representatives for their part raised their concerns as to how the pledges are to be utilised especially in their areas.