By Lamin B. Darboe
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
of The Gambia Investment and Export Promotion Agency (GIEPA) has disclosed that
the Empretec Gambia Project under her Agency was co-funded by the Government of
The Gambia and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) estimated at $2,
374, 748 for three years at the time of design.
She said the most exciting
development in her institution in 2014 was the opportunity to have Empretec
Gambia Project anchored at GIEPA with the Enterprise Support Department serving
as the National Empretec Centre.
Madam Fatou Jallow was speaking
yesterday while presenting her institution's 2014 annual report before the
members of the Public Account and Public Enterprise Committees (PAC/PEC) of the
Madam Jallow narrated that the
project became operational in July 2014 and was officially launched in
September 2014 with the objective of bringing about a transformational change
in unleashing the growth potential of micro and small scale enterprises by 2017
through entrepreneurial skill training and provision of a comprehensive range
of business advisory services.
Madam Jallow went on to add that
the project is an UNCTAD initiative, which seeks to promote entrepreneurship as
a vital component of economic growth and development. "The target
beneficiaries are women, youth, farmers and civil servants with the end goal of
creating jobs and wealth for our people in our strive to alleviate poverty in
The Gambia," she told PAC/PEC members.
According to her, the year under
review was no different from the past years for GIEPA in terms of enthusiasm,
commitment and team dynamism in the execution of their functions as key players
in the drive to make Gambia a middle income country by 2020.
Despite their challenges, Madam
Jallow added, her agency remains committed to have its staff on continuous
capacity building in order to provide them with the requisite expertise and
exposure to effectively execute their functions.
She said her institution's 2014
activities were mainly guided by their work plan, availability of resources and
stakeholders' demands anchored on their core functions of investment promotion
She further disclosed that in
2014, GIEPA facilitated and hosted 13 inward missions from 9 countries
including USA, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, India, Senegal and Spain with
interest in various sectors, which is part of their efforts to attract
investments in The Gambia.
During the year under review,
Madam Jallow said, 8 companies were approved for the award of fiscal incentives
through GIEPA. All the companies, she added except one were operational by the
end of the year thus they are expected to invest a total of US$23.64 million
and create 773 jobs during the period of their tax holiday.
Through the support of the World
Bank via The Gambia Growth and Competitiveness Project, GIEPA started work on
the development of a country brand and an online investment monitoring database
to improve monitoring evaluation and reporting on investments benefitting from
The GIEPA CEO stated that with
the approval of $20, 000 by the Enhanced Integrated Framework Project for GIEPA
to support value addition in cashew through transfer of processing technologies
to farmers and processor groups of West Coast and North Bank Regions, GIEPA
organised a training of trainers workshop in NBR in August to 17 participants
drawn from cashew farmer and processor groups around the country.
"Whilst we continue to face
daunting challenges, we remain committed and steadfast in our drive to provide
the required services to our clients and work with all stakeholders to realise
our national development goals as set out in Vision 2010 and bring prosperity
to our people, "she concluded.