By Momodou Jarju
The Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Seedy Keita has hinted that the United Nations Industrial Development Organization’s (UNIDO) Country Programme (CP) 2021-2025, can secure Gambia’s path towards inclusive and sustainable development.
Finance Minister Keita made this and other remarks at the UNIDO/CP inaugural steering committee meeting held on Tuesday June 21st 2022, at a local hotel in Senegambia.
In his own words, Keita said thus: “The country programme if fully implemented, will secure the country’s path towards inclusive and sustainable development which will benefit all Gambians and be a great source of job creation. An example is the UNIDO partnership with Senegal, which led to the development of the Diamniadio industrial park. Through this, their Government has been able to mobilize hundreds of millions of dollars in public and private investment.”
The UNIDO/CP’s objective is to enhance The Gambia’s productive and trade capacities towards increased food security, income and employment generation, poverty reduction and economic transformation.
Speaking further, Finance Minister Keita said as ministers and heads of institutions, it is their moral obligation to ensure that the activities earmarked in the CP focuses on the priority areas critical to the national development agenda and that of our various ministries.
Keita thanked UNIDO through its representative and staff of the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment, who have worked tirelessly to ensure that a Country Programme is formulated in line with the national development priorities and for setting up this multi-stakeholder high level committee.
The public officer urged the participants to take advantage of the platform to promote and facilitate inter-agency cooperation for the implementation of projects and activities within the CP framework, in view of creating synergies and enhancing impact, as well as provide strategic guidance and recommendations for corrective actions as and when required.
Mr. Christophe Yvetot, UNIDO Representative, Regional Office in Senegal, covering The Gambia, said CP aims to contribute to the implementation of relevant national policies and strategies, including the Industrial Development Policy, the National Policy for MSMEs and the Trade Strategy, among others.
“We take note of the CP’s alignment of the with the national development goals and priorities, as defined in The Gambia’s long-term development strategy “Vision 2020” and in its National Development Plan 2018-2022. We shall strive to contribute to the formulation and implementation of The Gambia’s next national development plan and its pertinent action plan, under the guidance of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs,” he said.
The UNIDO representative said CP has further been aligned with all three strategic results of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework for the period between 2017 and 2022 and strives to mobilize around eleven million US dollars during its implementation period, in support of the CP priorities and as a contribution to the forthcoming next cycle of the United Nations Sustainable Development Country Framework.
He also said the programme has been closely aligned with the Sustainable Agenda 2030 and its goals, particularly the SDG9 aiming to“build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation”.
“Furthermore, UNIDO welcomes the programme leadership by the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment as the Chair of the CP Steering Committee. This will ensure tailor-made, innovative solutions for a country’s enhanced productive and trade capacities, while also supporting the implementation of relevant national policies and strategies. We also appreciate the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs in its function as the CP Steering Committee Vice-Chair, and look forward to their guidance in mobilizing and leveraging relevant resources to achieve the envisioned CP outcomes,” he said.