Foreward | Executive Summary | Overview | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Conclusion
PART 1 LONG TERM OBJECTIVES
The long term aspiration of The Gambia is to achieve a solid infrastructural base for industrial development that would permit the processing of all primary products by the year 2020. At present, the industrial sector contributes on average 11 per cent to GDP> This contribution is targeted to rise to between 25-30 per cent by the year 2020. The manufacturing sub-sector will be relied upon to achieve that objective.
The importance of this sector in the realisation of the objectives of Vision 2020 cannot be over emphasised. The prime objective for this sector is to overcome the existing bottlenecks and to ensure a reliable and adequate supply of energy, both conventional and renewable, at affordable prices. The total generating capacity for electricity is targeted to increase to 150 megawatts by the year 2020.
Consistent with the objectives of improving the income status of the Gambian people, the manufacturing sector will undergo substantial re-orientation aimed at increasing and diversifying industrial output. Specifically, this means realising a net increase in the number of industrial units, greater diversification of industry, greater employment opportunities and the capturing of an established and growing export market. In this regard, priority will be given to a smoother technology transfer mechanism, the encouragement of adaptive research in production and process technologies and accelerated training and development of our human resources. The share of manufacturing activities in total employment and GDP must increase at a steady rate.
By the target year, the share of industry should rise through the provision of institutional support services and targeted incentives. A manufacturing base supplying both the domestic and export markets will be established in order to reduce the overt dependence on Agriculture and Trade.
The sea port, airport and road and waterway network will play a crucial role as providers of efficient infrastructural services. The sea port will be upgraded and rendered more efficient and competitive in order to cater adequately for transhipment needs to countries in the sub-region both coastal and land-locked. The transformation of the Port of Banjul into an industrial and entrepot Freeport should herald major investment opportunities in out maritime industry. It is envisaged that such investments will be effected through joint-ventures with private sector partners in a bid to involve operators in the transformation process. Consequently, there will be created a Freeport Authority which will offer an unrivalled fiscal and regulatory regime as well as infrastructural facilities in order to accelerate the growth of our maritime industrial development area.
The up-grading and expansion of the airport is a major component of the Gateway Strategy. The multi-modal transport initiative subsumed in this initiative is the Gambia's spearhead strategy to play a crucial role in international trade. In this regard, facilities at the airport will be upgraded and modernised, security improved to international standards to handle an increased passenger and cargo traffic with an eye to serving as a transit point from Europe and America into and out of Africa.
The development of inland road and water-way transport networks will focus on improving connections to regional trading centres, while offering logistic services such as storage and communications facilities.
The services sector has gained increasing important as a contributor to growth and employment in recent years. At present, services contribute over 50 per cent of total output and this share is expected to grow as the economy expands.
An important pillar of Vision 2020 is to transform the Gambia into sub-regional financial services centre that will offer investors a variety of investment instruments, the ultimate objective being to mobilise domestic savings and attract foreign private and institutional investors to enhance growth. Government recognises that without a strong and efficient financial services system providing a continuous flow affordable credit to the private sector, little will realise in terms of growth and prosperity. Consequently, the over riding objective in the area of financial system that will not only offer retail services but that will also provide all forms of investment capital for the private sector through term lending and financial engineering.
In this regard, the financial sector reforms that were embarked upon in 1985/86 will be pursued with renewed vigour and the liberal financial policies already in place will maintained. At present, financial institutions are given leeway to introduce new instruments and to diversify their business portfolio. In addition, new entrants will be encouraged into the Gambian banking sector through the progressive review and up-dating of the existing banking legislation while maintaining a prudent and effective regulatory system.
The Gambia as the gateway to the sub-region is another important pillar of Vision 2020. The potential role as an entrepot economy and the widespread international connections of her banking and trading systems. An essential ingredient in this area is to have a significant Gambian paritcipation both as proprietors and partners with foreign traders in order to raise the local content of exported goods and services.
The developments envisaged under Vision 2020 can hardly be realised unless supported by a deliberate policy of investing in those human capital resources required to produce, organise, mobilise and manage the development processes that will be indispensable in the 21st Century. The Education and Health sectors therefore have a central place in Vision 2020.
Since independence in 1965, national development policies have been default focused on the development of human resources in the white collar and peripheral services sector to the detriment of the areas of Science, Technology, Agriculture and Industry, particularly the Manufacturing sector. This focus has created a market failure, resulting in the importation of human capital, a dependence on expatriate manpower to manage the development of national productive resources with the result that no firm foundation has been laid over the past three decades to provide for sustainable development.
Consequently, a proper diagnosis o the skills needed to realise the objectives of Vision 2020 is called for prior to formulating a curriculum that will ensure a capable human resource base to attain the set objectives. Objectives for education include increasing the accessibility of education to 90 per cent of the school-age population, a diversification of institutions to favour vocational and skilled based training, encouraged of entrepreneurship as a corner-stone of education and an overall enrichment of curricula and extra curricula activities to favourable induce the skills-mix of the population towards a 21st Century setting.
Human resources are vital component of the growth process; bearing in mind the vital contributions of populations to National Development, the population growth will remain a major concern for Vision 2020. The attainment of objective in the size of households, the continuity of efforts to increase life-expectancy and a consistent set of policies to control immigration should ensure a totally manageable population that will contribute fully to the development objectives of Vision 2020.
As a consequence of the more recent and prevailing demographic trends, rapid urbanisation and concentration of the urban population, the demand for decent housing is increasingly elusive to satisfy. The long term objectives of housing sector will aim at increasing production of decent housing stock on a more regular basis. A review of the National Housing Policy formulated in1989 will be necessary in this regard to effectively address the problems posed by pressing demography and rapid urbanisation. Particular attention will be focus on the difficult and inadequate access to land for housing, dependence on imported building materials, the manpower and technical limitation of the construction industry, and the need for specialised housing finance institutions such as housing banks and housing co-operatives. Improving housing development capabilities is a prerequisite for providing a decent standing of living under Vision 2020.
The pursuit of development objectives often results in some undesirable environmental problems. In this regard, the objectives of Vision 2020 is primarily to conserve and promote the rational use of the nation's natural resources and environment for the benefit of present and future generations in a manner that is consistent with the overall goal of sustainable development.
The ensure the attainment of the policy goals of this objective, the Gambia Environment Action Plan (GEAP) will be continuously implemented within the framework of inter-sectoral collaboration under the leadership of the National Environment Agency. The GEAP Action Plan including the supporting institutional and legal framework will be continuously reviewed and upgraded. The key environmental problems of soil degradation, loss of forest cover, loss of biodiversity, poor sanitation and pollution will be addressed through public awareness campaigns, community participation, the application of appropriate technologies and legal instruments. Such actions will be supported by putting in place appropriate Environmental Impact Assessment Legislation.
The greatest challenge facing the nation in terms of ensuring the attainment of the primary objective of Vision 2020 is the elaboration of a Disaster Preparedness Plan. A National Disaster Preparedness Plan of an inter-sectoral character will be elaborated and tested for adequacy. The capacity of communities organisations and sectors to comprehend the planning and implementation processes of the plan will be developed.
The Gambia Incorporated" is a recognition, more than ever before of the great potentials of the private sector as an engine of growth. This recognition is further reinforced by the far reaching privatisation campaign in the last few years. At present, Government has control over only a limited number of enterprises providing basic infrastructure services such as Telecommunications, Maritime and Air Ports, Public Transport Services, Public Utilities, to name a few. Government has made a firm and irreversible commitment to focus only on the provision of public goods while putting in place an enabling environment for the realisation of the full potentials of the private sector.
Consequently, Vision 2020 aims at a fully-fledged private sector that is responsible to the development needs of this country and that can play an active role in the domestic economy. Government will ensure that marker mechanism function smoothly within a free market and a stable macro-economic environment. On the external front, the maintenance of a steady exchange rate between the Dalasi and major foreign currencies as well as the implementation of agreements signed with International Financial Institutions will ensure a more positive insertion of the economy into the international scene.
Over the last decade, it has become clear that an internally consistent set of economic and financial policies is a necessary but not sufficient condition for growth and development. Institution performance is a critical factor, not only in the design and implementation to development programs, but in the effective realisation of policy goals and development targets too. Vision 2020 integrates institutional capacities as a key factor of production and sets as an objective the correction of institutional failures in order to accelerate the implementation of development programs.
Notwithstanding the lead role of the private sector in The Gambia's future socio-economic development, public sector institutions have a critical role to play in the delivery of support infrastructural and social services to buttress the development efforts of the private sector. It is therefore envisaged that specific objectives shall refer to parastatals on the one hand and the civil service on the other.
Most civil service institutions in contrast to parastatals, operate in non specific, non competitive task environments. Performances appraisal is therefore a more difficult task for such institutions. The delivery of social services by these institutions is, notwithstanding, critical to rapid development in their respective environments. Cost efficiency service quality and institutional response capacity will therefore form the corner stone of appraisal of civil service institutions operating in this type of environment.The search for a pattern of performance instead of isolated performance in a few institutions will form the basis for an overall performance evaluation of the civil service.
Foreward | Executive Summary | Overview | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Conclusion