‘Price Hike Not A Home Grown Factor’


Finance Minister

By Nelson Manneh

Mr Seedy Keita, the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, said price hike is not a home grown factor for the country’s economy.

The Minister attributed the hike in prices to the exchange rate of the Dollar, which he said plays a significant role in determining the prices of commodities in the Gambia.

Minister Keita made these statements during his engagement with members of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Mission Team to the Gambia, and the Ministry of Finance and Economy Affairs. The IMF’s Mission Team from Washington DC headed by Ivohasina Fizara Razafimahefa, the IMF’s Mission Chief to The Gambia, visited the country to assess, among other things, the progress of the authorities since their last review mission, as well as the way forward. The team held discussions with the authorities, development partners, civil society organizations, and the private sector, and discussed the recent economic development in The Gambia and updates on key outcomes of the mission. He said Government is fully committed to fight inflation on basic commodities and ensuring that there are no abnormalities.

“There is no price control in the Gambia. We operate on a free market economy where market forces are the best determinants of prices of commodities, and such prices are determined by supply and demand,” he said. He however said that Government has concerns regarding the prices of commodities and what they do as a government, is to monitor and survey prices nationwide in order to observe any abnormal movement.

Minister Keita said the Gambia government has concluded some of its programs with the IMF who came to discuss key issues that need to be put in place, including a review of the economic status of the country.

“The program is about reforms, re-positioning the economy and putting together macro-economic fundamentals on a sound footing in support of economic growth,” he said.

According to Keita, Government is working on building the institutions and ensuring that they deliver, despite the challenges.

Mr Ivohasina Fizara Razafimahefa, IMF’s Mission Chief to The Gambia, said in terms of the country’s macro economy, the team has realised significant growth on this as well as on the economy of the country in general.

“The mission has seen a lot of progress when it comes to infrastructure building from both Government and the private sector and this is exactly what we are expecting. We have also seen other economic activities not only within the Greater Banjul Area, but within rural Gambia which justifies that there is some development going on within the country,” he said.

Notwithstanding, he said there are also some challenges faced by the country’s economy which includes inflation of the foreign currency and exchange rates which are high. He said the inflation pressure is not only experienced by the Gambia, but by many developing and low economy countries the world over.