MINISTRY OF TOURISM AND CULTURE:
Tourism and Culture Sector Benefits D100M Gov’t COVID-19 Stimulus Package
The Government of The Gambia through the Ministry of Tourism and Culture on Wednesday, September 30th announced the distribution of One Hundred Million Dalasi Covid-19 support fund for tourism resilience and recovery.
The One Hundred Million Dalasi package, is meant to help improve the resilience, effectiveness and efficiency of actors in the tourism sector as the country prepares for the reopening of the 2020/2021 tourist season.
The beneficiaries include: Tourist taxi drivers, fruit sellers, juice pressers, hairdressers, Senegambia Market vendors, Kotu Market vendors, Cape Point Craft Market vendors, Craft Market vendors, Tourist guides and bird watchers, miscellaneous businesses, hotels, guest houses/motels, upcountry lodges/camps, ground operators, equipment hirers and car rentals companies, tourist boats/vessels/pirogues, bars, restaurants & clubs, beach bars, travel agencies, casinos and gaming houses, Gambia Tourism & Hospitality Institute, Institute of Travel and Tourism of Gambia, the Fashion Designers Association, the Book Publishers Association, Theatre Association, artistic groups, Film producers Association, National Centre for Arts and Culture, and the Music Union Association.
MINISTRY OF LANDS, REGIONAL GOVERNMENT AND RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS
As part of efforts to combat land related disputes in the country, the Ministry of Lands, Regional Government and Religious Affairs is currently working on the development of Systematic Cadastral Mapping for the country. Cadastral Mapping is an information system and legal database for land ownership and usage in a given country. Extensive progress has been made so far and when finalized, the new system will ameliorate land and natural resources conflicts The Gambia.
Disputes relating to land ownership in The Gambia especially within the Greater Banjul Area (GBA) have escalated in the last decade. This is mainly as a result of the increase in the urban demographic and an upsurge in property value in the GBA.
While plans are being worked out for the introduction of the Systematic Cadastral Mapping, the Ministry of Lands and Regional Government, is currently using GPS coordinate system as a short-term measure to minimize land related conflicts. This short-term measure allows each parcel of land to be geo-referenced using its coordinates as a unique identifier of a precise geographic location within a particular area. This upgrade will effectively help the Ministry mitigate incidents of leasing one parcel of customary land to multiple individuals.
MINISTRY OF YOUTH AND SPORTS
The Youth Revolving Loan Fund Scheme (YRLF)
The Ministry of Youth and Sports has introduced a Youth Revolving Loan Fund scheme under the Youth and Sports Development Levy. The scheme has a start-up fund of D22 million Dalasi (Twenty-two million Dalasi), which shall be periodically replenished to deepen outreach and maximize impact. The revolving fund comprises:
- The Seed Fund to be managed by the Social Development Fund (SDF;)
- Grant, Training, Coaching and Mentoring to be managed by National Enterprise Development Initiative (NEDI.)
In view of the above, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed on the Implementation of the Youth Revolving Loan Scheme between the Ministry of Youth and Sports (through) National Enterprise Development Initiative (NEDI) and the Social Development Fund (SDF).
NEDI is mandated to identify, select and train potential and existing youth on entrepreneurship, to provide coaching and mentoring services and microfinance provision to the youth of the Gambia.
The management of NEDI as part of its preparation process, recently visited Bureng and Jataba both in Jarra East and Kiang west, to facilitate the operation of the micro Agro-processing centres in the two communities for the youth and women entrepreneurs in the region.
MINISTRY OF PETROLEUM AND ENERGY
The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy recently validated The Gambia Green Mini-Grids (GMG) feasibility studies, which is part of The Gambia GMG country support programme funded by the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) of the African Development Bank.
The availability of reliable, efficient, affordable, and environmental friendly electricity supply is one of the cornerstones of The Gambia Government’s development aspirations for the energy sector, as elaborated in the sector policies, strategies, and national development plans.
The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy is committed to promoting alternative electrification solutions as a necessary vehicle to provide access to those communities beyond the reach of the national grid.
As part of the Ministry’s national strategy for universal electricity access, The Gambia Government has set a target to connect one-third of the rural population through off-grid solutions by 2030, mainly through green mini-grids and standalone home system.
MINISTRY OF TRADE, INDUSTRY, REGIONAL INTEGRATION, AND EMPLOYMENT
The Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment (MOTIE), through its projects, continue to provide support to Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) to enhance their recovery process following the Covid-29 pandemic. Under this initiative, the Ministry through the Enhanced Integration Framework-Sustainability Support Phase (EIF-SSP) Project has been supporting the Department of Fisheries in the construction of a Smoke House for women fish processors at the Tanji Community Fishing Centre
Under the SheTrades Gambia Project, the Ministry is supporting 82 women owned businesses to enhance their economic participation in the horticulture and textile garment value chain. The project focuses on improving the capacities of the women entrepreneurs to improve the quality and packaging of their products. The project is also supporting in the creation of market linkages between women farmers to potential buyers. At the beginning of 2020, the SheTrades project was able to link importers to women onion famers to mop-up their produce during the State of Public Emergency. Through this initiative, importers have committed to buying all locally produced onions during the onion season henceforth, thus addressing the challenges of market access for women farmers. In addition, Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment is on course to develop a Domestic Trade Strategy to promote domestic production using trade as a stimulus to export led growth and development.
To address the challenges relating to access to finance for women businesses, the SheTrades Project has established a mini-grant scheme to women owned companies to expand their businesses and also address their capacity needs. In this regard, four (4) women were supported with a grant of GMD250, 000 each.
The Personnel Management Office: Disbursement of loans to civil servants
The Personnel Management Office (PMO), has completed the disbursement of Batch 14 of the Civil Service Revolving Loan Scheme.This was disbursed to all the three different categories of loan beneficiaries, namely: Personal, Car and Housing Loans to eligible civil servants in the first half of 2020 fiscal year.
107 people benefitted from Personal Loans, 18 people benefitted from Car Loans and 14 people benefitted from Housing Loans.
The fundamental objective of the Civil Service Revolving Loan Scheme is geared towards attracting, retaining and motivating a highly professional workforce for effective and efficient service delivery. The Scheme is playing an important role in the attraction and retention of key Civil Service Personnel.