(JollofNews) – In a bid to attract more domestic and foreign investors, Gambia’s Adama Barrow has Friday laid the foundation stone of a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) geared towards facilitating rapid economic growth through job creation.
“The country needs economic independence through employment and opportunities for wealth creation towards poverty eradication. Economic independence of our citizens would make our socio-political independence meaningful,” said President Barrow.
One year after Gambians voted out ex-dictator Yahya Jammeh, the Barrow administration has succeeded in restoring confidence between Gambia and its development partners.The World Bank (WB), International Monetary Fund (IMF), and other financial institutions have pledged support for the country’s economy, unveiling major projects in the pipeline.
The milestone project is part of activities marking the celebrations of the country’s 53rd year of independence. The SEZ is being spearheaded by Gambia Investment and Import Promotion Agency (GIEPA) with TAF Africa Homes Global Ltd.
He said since the tiny West African nation attained international sovereignty, generations have been working hard to improve their economic situation, making a name in the business sector of The Gambia, citing Mustapha Njie, the CEO of the construction company TAF as a living example.
“The principles of private sector led growth and our belief in the private sector as engine of economic growth will continue to be a fundamental national development pillar,” he said.
The Gambian leader reiterated his government’s commitment to continue carving out and adjusting to responsive policies and strategies to support greater private sector participation in the domestic economy.
The new regime inherited a dire economic situation following two decades of economic lethargy. The new SEZ is expected to promote economic growth and job creation.
“GIETAF Special Economic Zone, will entail the creation of a well-built modern state of the art Special Economic Zone. Its design embodies economic development using modern technology to boost industrial development, promote tourism and leisure in a real estate hub,” said President Barrow.
He went further to outline the main targets of the SEZ, saying the project aims at achieving a balanced economic space that promotes trade and investment through industrial activities. Such a modern Special Economic Zone focuses on export promotion, creates jobs, and integrate within its surroundings.
Gambia’s economic growth has been the centre of attention at national level as State’s coffers were emptied by former longtime ruler. But over these past months, there are signs that the country has entered into economic recovery.
He said the SEZ is in line with the strategies in our National Development Plan (2018-2021).
Barrow described the initiative as a’ great source of pride for The Gambia’, and made it clear that his government created the enabling policy and business environment.