Panafrican News Agency

Gambia’s economy grows by 6pct, prospects remain good for 2020 – IMF

Banjul, Gambia (PANA) -  International Monetary Fund (IMF) Chief of Mission Jaroslaw Wreczoreck Saturday described 2019 “as a really good year for The Gambia” with an economic growth of 6 per cent to the GDP.

“Overall growth was about 6% of GDP, inflation is low, the Dalasi is stable and the government has increased resources. This is a good situation to be for The Gambia. 2019 was a really good year for The Gambia in terms of revenue collection, growth and foreign exchange flows,” Wreczoreck said after his meeting with President Adama Barrow.

During his discussions with President Barrow, the IMF official gave his views on the country’s economic outlook and thanked the president for his support to the institutions that were critical to the good performance of 2019.

The IMF mission to Banjul under its staff monitored programme (SMP) are currently in the country  to assess the 2019 SMP and discuss The Gambia’s request for a fresh programme with financing that could be supported by the extended credit facility (ECF).

“We still continue to see increased revenue collection so tax payment is very good component of civic duties of all citizens and companies. GRA is a very important institution that needs to do its job and provide the resources to the government,” Wreczoreck maintained.

The increased revenue capacity of government is creating a situation which The Gambia can count on for more resources to support development and social spending.

“Outside the government, The Gambia will see a continuous growth in tourism sector. Capacity is growing very fast… New hotels are coming onboard and others renovated. So it is extremely pleasant to see how dynamic and how proactive the private sector is in The Gambia,” he said.

The IMF official also noted the important investments in road infrastructure and the energy sectors, and their contributions to the continuous growth of the economy.

A major economic challenge in 2019 was the collapse of Thomas Cook airline which put The Gambia in “a very difficult situation”.

Notwithstanding, the IMF mission chief said he was happy to see the tourism industry in great resilience.

He observed that the economy responded to this situation and even posted another record year for tourism, while agriculture remained “a continuous concern” for the Gambian economy.

President Barrow expressed gratitude for the partnership that his government has been nurturing with the fund over the past three years.


 -0-      PANA      MSS/RA    8Jan2020