(JollofNews) – In the wake of the just concluded State-visit by German President Frank Walter Steinmeier to Gambia, the business sector is optimistic about a positive outcome on the country’s economy.
This followed a Gambia-Germany joint business forum, held last week in the margins of a two-day working visit by the European nation Head of State, heralding a new era of best investment opportunities between the two countries.
“This forum creates an opportinity where investors from Germany can come in. Over four hundred thousands companies are in Germany and are looking to be investing in Africa,” The Gambia Investment and Export Promotion Agency (GIEAPA) CEO Assan Faal told JollofNews in an exclusive interview.
The tiny West African nation is recovering from 22-year of dictatorship by the Jammeh regime, and that has left the economy plumbing deeper into recession, causing a huge unemployment rate. A situation that prompted many Gambian youths to embark on a dangerous journey into Europe, risking their lives to cross the Mediterranean Sea.
GIEPA boss said it is a way of opening up Gambia to the German market. “Ultimately, employment will solve the economic problems our country is confronted with,” he stated.
He then expressed hope for such a forum to be held on a regular basis as it would help exposure and create opportunities.
“We have a diverse sector of investment opportunities ranging from energy, agriculture, infrastructures to manufacturing…” he said in an attempt to highlight the main areas German businessmen can use to create a powerful presence in Gambian market.
Faal identified the agriculture sector as the leading target for potential investors, eying for big deal.
We understand this land better than anybody else, he added. “If we can feed ourselves, and export. Then there will be a viability.”
He urged domestic investors to venture into agriculture, saying there is a moral obligation to pursue something that would create food self-suffiency.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) Alieu Secka, who spoke to JollofNews, that “Gambia offers some tremendous opportunities after the 22 years of closure.”
He disclosed that German businessmen have expressed interest in many areas, including renewable energy, infrastructures etc.
When asked whether there is possibility of joint ventures between Gambian private sector and large German business companies, Secka responded in the affirmative.
“Some German businessmen have already met with their Gambian counterparts. They have conducted site visits, and discussed about some projects. Now it is a matter of taking it to the next level,” he said.