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" /> Voice Out Digital IMF’s October 2022 Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa launched | Voice Out Digital
Published On: Fri, Nov 4th, 2022

IMF’s October 2022 Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa launched

The International Monetary Fund in collaboration with the UN Country Team, today launched the Joint IMF In-Country for the October 2022 Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa, and UNCT outreach on the Rising Cost of Living in the Gambia.

The event with its themes “living on the edge” and “managing the high cost of living and food insecurity in the Gambia” was on Friday held at the SDKJ International Conference Center in Bijilowhich converged various personnel from the Gambia government and the UN System.

Speaking at the event, Seedy Keita,the Finance and Economic Affairs Minister outlined that the themes“living on the edge” and “managing the high cost of living and food insecurity in the Gambia “could not be more relevant underthe current economic conditions, as they grapple with the shock of the Russia-Ukraine conflict without having fully recovered from the shock of the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting to higher commodity prices.

He mentioned that as living cost surge across the globe which the sub-region is not an exception, this has exerted triple impacts on society and governments across the region, that the high cost of basic essential commodities has eroded gains in social safety nets while increased the cost of government projects and programs which also eroded the much-needed revenue to support critical public service delivery in low-income nations.

The Minister advanced that the challenges have been further exacerbated by monetary policy reversals in advanced economies such as the United States putting undue pressures on the Gambian dalasi.

He added that despite these challenges, growth outlook for the Gambia was projected to 4.5 percent in 2022 supported by improved agricultural productivity amid growing uncertainties on the outlook for tourism.

Minister Keita added that the Gambia government has already started the implementation of agricultural projects (ROOTS, GIRAV) to support productivity, modernization and value addition of local productions, while the tourism sector resilient and diversification project will further enhance inclusive growth and job creation to build the necessary structures of growth in the sector.

However, he noted that the on-going surge in food and energy prices are impacting the region’s most vulnerable and public debt and inflation are at levels not seen in decades which has left many countries such as the Gambia with very narrow and precarious options, yet the Gambia government remain committed to the structural reforms that will engender the turnaround on the rising level of vulnerabilities and increasing risk of debt distress.

He further assured that the Gambia will strengthen the necessary institutional structures to ensure social safety programs are conducted in more targeted approach.

That the Gambia government has implemented several initiatives to support the vulnerable groups from the impact of rising food and energy prices, and a 20 percent discount on the custom valuation rate on the import of all basic essential commodities, expand the NAFA cash transfer scheme and improve on payment methodology to reach the remotest person through mobile payment systems.

He concluded that “the foundation of our recovery will continue to be anchored on strategic reforms in the area of public procurement to strengthen the value –for-money, regulation and oversight, revision of the Public Finance Act to improve public financial management structures, revision of the SoE Bill to reflect the emerging institutionalization and roll-out of SoEsperformance contracts to improve administrative and financial governances across the SoE environment.”

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