Washington, DC – In a move to increase economic opportunity in The Gambia, CIPE partner the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) launched the National Business Council (NBC) of The Gambia. The NBC is a public-private partnership between the Office of President Adama Barrow and GCCI that will work to improve the Gambian investment climate during this crucial time for the Gambian economy.
Chaired by Vice President Ousainou Darboe, the inaugural meeting of the NBC on November 24 brought together the Ministers of Trade, Finance, Agriculture, Lands and Regional Government, and Tourism, with five leaders from the Gambian private sector, including a representative of the nation’s young entrepreneurs. GCCI’s CEO Alieu Secka thanked CIPE for supporting the process by sharing its best practices from around the world. At the meeting, participants discussed a draft Reform Agenda which had been developed by GCCI in consultation with companies and entrepreneurs across the country. A follow-up meeting of the NBC is scheduled for December 24.
“The NBC brings together key decision-makers in government with some of the biggest names in the Gambian business community,” said Mustapha Njie, CEO of real estate developer TAF Africa Global and a member of the NBC. “I am convinced that, working together, we can make The Gambia a better place for businesses of all sizes.”
The Council’s launch comes at a pivotal time for the small West African country. Although a democratic transition in 2017 raised prospects for economic reform, the ‘New Gambia’ was recently ranked second-to-last in Fortune’s Best Countries for Business index. The NBC is an opportunity to reverse this trend by bringing business to the center of economic policymaking.
“If the ‘New Gambia’ is to be a success, it has to be a more prosperous Gambia,” added Andrew Wilson, Executive Director of CIPE. “Economic transformation cannot happen without a supportive government. But government support itself is never enough – real change can only happen when it is also driven by the private sector.”
CIPE has partnered with GCCI since 2017 and will continue to support the work of the National Business Council. A non-profit affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and core institute of the National Endowment for Democracy, CIPE currently implements 130 programs in 50 countries around the world.