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  • Gambia: Govt, UNDP Co-Funded Empretec Project At U.S.$2, 374, 748 - Giepa Boss

    Feb 16th, 2016

    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 National Assembly.

    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 and facilitation.

    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 tax holidays.

    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.