BUDGET SPEECH 2002
PROGRAMME BASED BUDGETING FOR EFFICIENT RESOURCE ALLOCATION
AND USE WITH A POVERTY REDUCTION DIMENSION
VII. POVERTY REDUCTION THROUGH
Mr Speaker, Sir,
- In general, the major programmes in the Agricultural sector have performed
favourably leading to great improvement in the output of the sector.
The ADB, IFAD and Gambia Government funded Lowland Agricultural Development
Programme (LADEP), continues to contribute significantly to increased
rice production and household food security, which is very much in line
with its primary objectives. So far, 1,745 hectares of swampland have
been reclaimed since April 1997, representing 101% of the cumulative
target for the first four years and 52% of the targets for the whole
8-year programme. Overall, 10,100 households have benefited from the
project, through access causeways and bridges as well as construction
- The ADB and Gambia Government-funded Peri-Urban Smallholder Improvement
Project (PSIP), with total project cost of US$7 Million for five years,
was launched this year. The project is expected to boost, on a sustainable
basis, the production of horticultural and livestock products by smallholders
in the Western and North Bank Divisions. The European Union has already
approved the funding of the Pan African Programme for the Control of
Epizootic (PACE) to the tune of D7.8 million. The overall objective
of PACE is to enhance national capacities to control epizootic diseases,
that affect livestock and thereby help in alleviating poverty among
those involved in livestock farming.
- Government is supporting an Integrated Maize and Poultry Project with
the aim of enhancing food security and rural incomes. Through the project,
we provide inputs such as seeds, fertilizers and agro-chemicals to producer
associations for maize production to be used as poultry feed. The producer
groups have been assisted with materials to construct poultry houses
(for both broilers and layers), and to purchase day-old chicks. The
first batches of broilers have already been marketed, thus providing
additional incomes to the mainly female farmers.
- The Telefood Micro-Projects, which increased from 12 in 2000 to 16
micro-projects in 2001, focused mainly in the areas of horticultural
production, commercial poultry and rabbit raising, fisheries, agro-forestry
and bee-keeping. These interventions from the FAO also cover the implementation
of Emergency Assistance to facilitate a rapid response against the outbreak
of the African Swine Fever and other emerging diseases.
- Other projects currently being implemented include support
to the continuation of the Special Programme for Food Security (SPPS),
funded by the Gambia Government and FAO with South/South cooperation
from Bangladesh; the implementation of the Agricultural Census Project
2001 with funding contributions from UNDP, Catholic Relief Services
(CRS) and Action Aid The Gambia (AATG). The Agricultural Rural Farmer
Training Centre at Jenoi, supported by South/South cooperation from
the Indonesian Government, continue to train mainly women participants
from the sub-region in rice production throughout the year.
- The National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI), maintained efforts
to improve its institutional and research management capacity through
the strategic planning process and agricultural research. Regional and
international research collaboration as well as extension-farmer linkages
were strengthened, whilst measures to obtain sustainable financing mechanisms
for The Gambia’s agricultural research are also being explored. And
it could be said that, the overall increases in crop hectare and production,
can be partially attributed to concerted efforts of the research and
extension service delivery systems of the Department of State for Agriculture.
- Subsequent to the liquidation of The Gambia Cooperative Union in 1998,
there have been efforts to revitalise the Groundnut industry. In the
process, all the stakeholders in the sub-sector including the European
Union (EU) have committed themselves to genuinely support the revitalisation
and re-organisation of the primary cooperative organisations (CPMSs),
into viable business entities. 94 cooperative societies are currently
in operation to facilitate groundnut production and marketing and for
the extension of credit facilities to producers. The Agri-business Service
Plan Association (ASPA), consisting of producer organisations, donors
and industrialists, participated actively in determining the nominal
producer price of groundnuts with Government providing the enabling
environment. Difficulties continue to be experienced in groundnut marketing
during the past year resulting in credit buying for the first part of
the trade season. However, succinct strategic plans are set afoot to
redress the problem.
- Regardless of these achievements, the sector continued to be marred
by a series of constraints resulting in low production and productivity.
Hence in tandem with the revitalisation programme for agriculture, substantial
public and private investments are being sought to redress the key priority
areas of the sector. In addition, Government continues to empower farmers
through the provision of some micro-finance, essential inputs and farm
machinery. The 39 tractors distributed among farmer groups throughout
the country which undoubtedly boosted production and alleviated labour
and time constraints, was an effort in this direction.
ii. Tourism and Cultural Issues
Mr Speaker, Sir,
- One of our key industries, tourism, has in the past two years undergone
some difficulties in two of our source markets (Germany and Holland).
The effect of these was an 18% drop in tourist arrivals for the Year
2000. In response to this, we embarked on a special programme aimed
at expanding our market both in terms of source and reach. As a result,
we have witnessed a further consolidation in our biggest source market,
the United Kingdom as two new tour operators, Unijet and Panorama, launched
programmes in The Gambia during 2001. Gambia Experience has thereby
significantly increased its operation from two to three flights a week
in the winter. We are also witnessing a welcome recovery in the Dutch
market with the return of Olympia, which has now expanded its operation
to include parts of Germany and Belgium.
- There are now positive indications that the tourism sector is heading
for a turnaround as winter tourist traffic increases. We now receive
13 charter flights a week compared to 10 last winter. Provisional estimates
show that for the year just ended, we received a total of 75,650 air
charter tourists representing a drop of only 4% from year 2000. Projections
are that the number of air charter arrivals would increase by more than
20% for the Year 2002.
- To guarantee this projected increase, not much is left to chance.
We are working closely with the members of the travel trade to vigorously
promote our tourism product in all markets. Emphasis will also be placed
on promoting summer tourism, which has commenced with the extension
of a set of incentives to the travel trade including a 25% discount
on aircraft landing fees for all charters during the summer months of
May to October.
- There is also a need to upgrade our product. In this pursuit, Government
has now set up the Gambia Tourism Authority with significant private
sector representation on both its Board of Directors and its Advisory
Committees, and there are plans in the coming year to institute a Hotel
Classification and Grading System. We extend our gratitude to the European
Union for their assistance in funding the preparation of the feasibility
study on the Gambia Tourism Authority and the Hotel Classification Guidelines.
- As part of the efforts to improve our product, the Government has
recently launched a project to light up the Tourism Development Area
with a D4.5 million electrification project, jointly funded by the Government,
the Gambia Hotel Association and GAMWORKS. Government is also conducting
a comprehensive review of the tourism sector jointly funded with the
ADB to the tune of D14 million to develop a Tourism Master Plan. This
master plan will guide the formulation and adoption of appropriate policies
and procedures for the sustained development of the sector.
- An important part of the Plan would cover the development and marketing
of eco-tourism facilities, and the training needs in the tourism sector.
In this regard, the Department of State for Tourism and Culture is studying
the modalities of upgrading the Gambia Hotel School into a higher-level
training institution, with an expanded curriculum covering various aspects
of the sector.
- Recently, a six-week training and re-orientation programme for a batch
of 60 beach boys or bumpsters was conducted. The programme, which was
conducted in collaboration with the National Youth Service Scheme (NYSS),
was intended to turn these youngsters into professional tourist guides
for their own benefit and that of the industry. A group of women batik
producers and sellers have also been undergoing training with a view
to developing their entrepreneurial skills and enhancing the quality
of their products. This programme is being organised under the Fight
Against Social and Economic Exclusion (FASE) Project of the UNDP.
- Regarding the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), the World
Bank financed project launched in March 1999 has gone through its first
phase, which entailed the review of the policy, legal and fiscal framework
of the NCAC in particular and the cultural sector in general. The second
phase of the project, comprises the formulation of a cost-based 10-year
strategic plan for the NCAC and the cultural sector as well as a comprehensive
training programme for the institution. An in-house training programme
covering various disciplines is also underway. It should be completed
by the end of May 2002.
- The NCAC is now charged with the operation and upkeep of Arch 22,
which Government has proclaimed a national monument and transferred
to the Council at the start of the fiscal year 2001.
iii. Trade and Industrial Development
- During the course of the year, government signed a number of Trade
Cooperation Agreements and Reciprocal Protection of Investment Agreements.
Among these are agreements signed with the Islamic Republic of Mauritania,
Ukraine and the Netherlands. New Agreements are also being negotiated
with the Republic of Guinea and Romania. Such agreements are intended
to facilitate trade and stimulate private sector growth and development.
- In the area of trade promotion and development, a Competition Policy
and Law is being finalized with the assistance of the Commonwealth Secretariat.
This is geared towards the protection of consumers and businesses by
ensuring a level playing field for all, thereby encouraging new investments
and ensuring consumer confidence in the market. In pursuance of the
goal of promoting exports and developing easily accessible trade-related
information, the DOSTIE in collaboration with UNCTAD, is working towards
the establishment of a trade point for the Gambia. Similar ones created
elsewhere in Africa have proved very successful in linking local producers
with market leads.
- A significant development has been made this year in Government’s
efforts towards creating a genuine enabling environment for increased
private sector participation. The enactment of The Gambia Investment
Promotion Act and the Free Zones Act paved the way in May this year
for the setting up of GIPFZA, the apex body that will provide one-stop-shop
services to investors and coordinate all aspects of investment in both
the customs territory and free zones.
- The above developments fall within the priority objectives identified
within the Trade Gateway Project. An Engineering Design works for this
project has been completed and construction works are expected to commence
in 2002. The project is expected to attract significant investment into
the country and create over 5000 new jobs for Gambians in the first
phase. The first phase of the Project will be located at the Banjul
International Airport area.
- A new Industrial Policy is also being developed to facilitate the
much-needed industrialization that would accelerate economic growth
and development. The overall aim of the policy is to ensure an adequate
response to investment markets, employment creation and poverty alleviation
in all sectors that have industrial potential. In addition, government,
in its attempt to boost the manufacturing sector, which contributes
less than 6% of GDP, has approved the exemption of duty and sales tax
for all inputs and raw materials, directly used in the manufacturing
sector, once a mechanism for monitoring the tax waiver is in place.
- The Government, taking cognisance of the role of the Small and Medium
Enterprise (SME) sector in the economy, has decided to put in place
a more conducive environment to enhance the development of the sector.
In this light, the preparation of an SME policy is underway with the
assistance of the UNDP. A National Technical Committee has been set
up to provide advisory services to government on SME development. The
Indigenous Business Advisory Service (IBAS) will also be restructured
and better equipped to provide more efficient services to its clientele.
- Regarding mineral exploration, the Australian company, Carnegie Corporation
that was granted exclusive prospecting license in 1999 carried out reconnaissance
survey of the three main deposits at Batokunku, Sanyang and Kartong.
Representative samples collected from these sites have been analysed
in Australia and presently, the corporation is carrying out a survey
to test their marketability and establish product credential in international
- A draft revised Mining and Quarries Bill; currently being studied
by all stakeholders prior to finalisation is intended to bring our mining
legislation in conformity with international mining laws to encourage
research, mining investment and rational use of our subsoil resources.
- The petroleum exploration programme of The Gambia has registered significant
progress. During the course of the year, a further 1000km of 2D Seismic
has been acquired in the offshore area. New types of petroleum prospects
have also been identified in the ultra deep offshore area. The drilling
of these prospects is currently being negotiated with oil companies.
- An Oil and Gas Conference was also successfully organized in February
2001. The conference brought together national decision-makers in the
petroleum industry and oil companies operating in the sub-region. One
of the major recommendations of the conference is the decision to carry
out further studies to update the geological and seismic data on the
Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea Bissau and Guinea Conakry (MSGBC)
- Following last year's divisional consultations for the preparation
of an employment policy, government is now reviewing the recently formulated
National Employment Policy and Action Plan.
- The Gambia Government is sparing no effort to ensure that the potentials
of the fisheries sub-sector are fully exploited to contribute significantly
to the socio-economic development of the country. To this end, the Ice
Plant and Cold-room facilities at the Tanji Project for the Improvement
of Fishing and Preservation Facilities For Inland Fish Distribution
are now fully in operation.
- The Government of Japan, having agreed to consider The Gambia’s request
for the provision of facilities for an ice plant, cold-room, fishing
materials and store and refrigerated trucks for one of the country’s
largest fishing centres at Gunjur, has in June 2001 dispatched a project
team to the Gambia to discuss the design of the project. The team has
produced a draft proposal document for review, which hopefully will
be finalised, approved and implemented during 2002.
- The financing arrangements for the Gambia Fisheries Development Project
to be jointly funded by the Gambia Government, ADB and BADEA to the
tune of US$13.47 million have also been finalized and the National Project
Steering Committee set up. The Project is now set to take off in early
2002. This project has a countrywide coverage as reported last year,
and will establish a central fish Market within the Kanifing Municipality,
improve existing inland community fisheries centres and create a cold
chain for the preservation and marketing of marine product throughout
- Construction work on the Banjul Ice Plant Project sponsored by The
Republic of China on Taiwan to the tune of US$300,000 is at an advanced
stage. This project consists of an Ice Plant, cold-room facilities and
refrigerated trucks to improve the preservation and marketing of fish
and fishery products for Banjul fisheries operators.
- The interventions of these projects will complement the efforts of
Government in the fight to enhance food security, through an efficient
fish supply system for improved nutrition of the population, and to
alleviate poverty by creating opportunities for employment and income
generation. To attain these objectives however, it is essential that
the Gambian people, particularly the direct project beneficiaries and
the youths rise up to the challenges.
II. THE WORLD ECONOMY
III. THE DOMESTIC ECONOMY
IV. CO-OPERATION AND INTEGRATION
V. OUTTURN OF THE 2001 BUDGET
VI. POVERTY ALLEVIATION AND THE SOCIAL SECTOR STRATEGY
VII. POVERTY REDUCTION THROUGH INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY
VIII. POVERTY REDUCTION THROUGH INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPEMENT
IX. ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
X. GOVERNANCE ISSUES
XI. NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATIONS (NGOs)
XII. PUBLIC ENTERPRISES (PEs)
XIII. FISCAL PROJECTION FOR 2002