Gambia Gets D13.8 Billion in Remittances

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By Kebba AF Touray

Buah Saidy, the Governor of the Central Bank of the Gambia (CBG) said the money transferred into the Gambia (Private Remittances) has increased to Two Hundred and Three Million Dollars ($203.7) equivalent to Thirteen Billion, Eight Hundred and Four Million Dalasi (D13,804,000,000). The head of the CBG explained that that represented a 12.4 percent increase from the previous quarter.

Governor Saidy stated this on Thursday, 23 May 2024 during the Monetary Policy Committee’s Meeting (MPC). He said private remittances remain the largest source of foreign currency supply.

Private Remittances are the private savings of workers and families that are spent in the home country for food, clothing, and other expenditures, and which drive the home economy.

He stated that the deficit for food increased from Two Hundred and Thirty-Eight Million Dollars ($238.3 Million) in the last quarter to Two Hundred and Fifty-Seven Million Dollars ($257.9 Million) in the first quarter of 2024.

He said the service account balance registered a surplus of One Hundred and Seventeen Million Dollars ($117.1 Million) in the first quarter of 2024. He stated that the exchange rate continues to be relatively stable where the Dalasi depreciated against foreign currencies from December 2023 to March 2024. He said it fell by 6.9 % against the United States Dollars, by 5.9 %  against the Euro, by 7.5% against the British Pound Sterling and by 5.1%  against the CFA.

“The Central Bank continues to hold comfortable levels of international reserves amounting to $479.8 Million in April 2024, which is sufficient to finance over 4.9 months of prospective imports of goods and services,” he said.

Domestic debt, as explained by Governor Saidy, declined marginally to 41 Billion Dalasi in April 2024 from 41.3 Billion Dalasi in December 2023. The Governor said headline inflation, which is the measure of the total inflation within an economy, including commodities such as food and energy prices decelerated for the third consecutive month, driven by global commodity prices and domestic policy actions. He added that headline inflation declined to 11% in April 2024from 14.9 % in March 2024 and the peak of 18.5 % in September 2023. 

Governor Saidy said they are hopeful that inflation will fall to single digits by the end of 2024.

He said the MPC is with the view that the Gambian economy will continue its strong performance with this year’s growth expected to average 5.5 percent, and that past policy actions are paying dividend, as inflation continues to decline.

He said the MPC decided to maintain the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 17% Required Reserve (RR) ratio of commercial banks at 13%. Interest Rate (IR) on standing deposit facility remains at 3 %, and the Interest Rate (IR) on the standing lending facility at 18% or MPR plus 1% points.