By Cherno Omar Bobb
The vice president, Dr. Isatou Touray has said that in the Gambia, Micro Small and Medium Size Enterprises (MSMEs) contribute approximately 20% to the GDP, adding that as a government they recognize the significant contribution and untapped potential of MSMEs to the economy.
VP Touray made these remarks on Monday at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference during a forum organized by the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment with support from the Division for Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DSDG/DESA) and the United Nations Development Programme.
Addressing the forum, Dr. Touray said the government firmly believed in private sector led growth and as such, they were ready to implement recommendations made at the policy implementation forum in the post covid-19 era promoting MSME formalization.
She said the government made a commitment to support the development of the MSME eco-system in recognition of the very important role of MSMEs as main drivers of economic growth. She pointed out that the MSME sector has been particularly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, noting that recent assessments have shown a significant drop of revenue for these enterprises with some closed altogether, especially the sole proprietorships.
She further said that whilst government has taken some measures, it is important that the government had taken sustained actions to get the MSMEs back on track, which she said is necessary if the Gambian economy is to rebound.
Dr. Touray added that government is steadfastly working on developing and consolidating the MSME eco-system, adding that the formalization of the MSME sub-sector is key in this regard.
“I anticipate and hope this forum will come up with concrete recommendations which will inform the re-designing of a more business friendly regulatory environment for MSMEs to thrive in order to create employment and wealth within the Gambia”, she remarked.
She also said that the government will work with partners to syndicate and speed up the reform processes for the formalization of businesses across the country.