Trade Minister Says
By Ndey Sowe
Seedy Keita, the Minister of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment (MoTIE), has disclosed that a trade directorate has been set up at his Ministry, to tackle prices of commodities in the country.
Minister Keita made this remark on Thursday, 6 January, 2022 during an annual retreat held at a local hotel in Senegambia, in order to identify and discuss some of the challenges the Ministry faces in its operations, and also come up with recommendations that will guide management in terms of putting in place the necessary measures to facilitate their work.
“A trade directorate has been set in 2022, to tackle commodity prices,” the Trade Minister disclosed; adding he looks forward to the presentation of measures and strategies that the trade directorate will put in place for such continuous emergence in commodity prices to be halted, and on how to deal with it as a ministry and as a country.”
Significant among the retreat was participants, who were expected to streamline their activities and budget for 2022, and avail the Ministry an opportunity to review their work plan and take stock of the progress made in the implementation of their plans, addressing the gaps and challenges they faced during the implementation of their plan in the year 2021.
The retreat gave the Ministry an opportunity to review, validate and build synergies in terms of the work plans of the ministry, directorate, units, departments and agencies to be able to promote and implement the programs of the Ministry.
“We have to think outside the box and make it work for everybody. We know that the issue of commodity prices will be with us given the disruption of the supply chain,” the Minister said.
He assured that the trade directorate will address the issues of commodity prices in the 2022 work plan; stressing that his Ministry is not in isolation but is working with the larger Government, for development.
“We are here today to work consciously with a view to put together strategies and ideas on how to do better, on whatever we have been doing,” Minister Keita said.
Ebrima Sisawo, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Trade, said the retreat is a very important one and implored on all participants to put a lot of importance to it.
“It is not only an opportunity to take stock of what we did in the past one year, but it should also serve as a chance for us to prepare our agenda for the coming year,” Sisawo remarked; adding this is critical as they plan to achieve useful targets ahead.
PS Sisawo said it is no secret that Africa is becoming one of the biggest trading blocs, and Gambia should try as much as possible to position itself into that reality; that having the continental free trade area which brings together 1.3 billion people and a combination of a GDP of about 3.4 trillion dollars, puts Africa in a very competitive state compared to the strength of China and India, in terms of potential.