Dr. Seeku Jaabi, an employee of the Central Bank of The Gambia, has launched two books on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Micro Financing.
Speaking at the launch ceremony held at the Central Bank conference hall on 28th January 2016, Dr. Jaabi said the first book on ‘SME finance and economic development’ is a case of the Fishing Industry in Uganda and The Gambia and which is an adjusted form of his PhD thesis. “It broadly touched on SME financing and economic development in developing countries. Specifically, it focused on the role of institutions, technological capabilities and policy choices in enhancing enterprise financing, exports and economic development in Uganda and The Gambia,” said the author.
Dr. Jaabi said SMEs financing has attracted much research following financial sector reforms in many developing countries. “Due to the importance of SMEs to the socio economic development, they remain high on the policy agenda of developing countries, in particular Sub-Saharan African countries. SMEs are an engine of growth and a seedbed for industrialisation for most economies, thereby making them a key plank of development policy,” he said.
He noted that several studies on micro, small and medium-sized enterprises have indicated that they constitute over 70% of total employment and over 95% of total operating enterprises in developing countries. He said they need external finance for growth while their exposure to adverse business environment and information asymmetric often proves to be major obstacles to access credit, adding that this has influence their volatile growth patterns overtime.
“Despite the industry’s importance, it is paradoxical that the fish operatives continue to experience acute lack of access to formal external finance. Hence, this book examines institutional and supply-side constraints facing fish production, and the relationship between technology and exports, and between access to finance, R&D and exports in Uganda and The Gambia,” said the author.
Dr. Jaabi said the primary goals of these books are, first, to examine SMEs financing sources and constraints in developing countries and that secondly, firm and national technological capabilities matter in LDCs’ participation in global trade facilitated by the developmental role of the State.
He said the books are useful to quite a number of users including policy-makers, University students of economics, innovation and technology, finance and development, researchers, industry players, financial sector, and all those interested in enterprise finance literature in developing countries.
Basiru A. 0. Njai, First Deputy Governor of the Central Bank, said as rightly stated, SME financing has attracted much research following financial sector reforms in many developing countries. “Due to the importance of SMEs to socio-economic development, they remain high on the policy agenda for most economies,” said the deputy CBG governor.
Mr. Njai said research has found out that the acute supply-side constraints associated with technological capabilities, compliance with sanitary standards, greater financial inclusion and public policy support limit most developing countries, Uganda and The Gambia without exception, to participate and compete in sophisticated global fish market where these capabilities matter. He said the limited value addition has led to low industry contributions to the economy in terms of export earnings, job creation, food security and other spillovers. He noted that several studies have shown that reliance on primary goods does not help boost the export value for economic development unless countries implement industrialisation strategy by adding value.
Mr. Njai said the study revealed that the differences between industrial and artisanal fisheries brought about contrasting outcomes in fish industry performances in the two countries.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, Dr. Cherno Omar Barry, who launched the two books, said the author did a thorough research to publish these books. He said countries excel in development because of research.
Earlier, in her welcoming remarks, Mrs Fatou Deen- Touray, Deputy Director, Microfinance Department, said Dr. Jaabi has contributed a lot to the development of microfinance in the country owing to his advanced training and vast experience.
Other speakers included Mr. Aboubucarr Khan from Reliance Financial Services who spoke on behalf of the microfinance sector and Mr. Omar Mboob of Trust Bank who spoke on behalf of the banking sector.