Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Minister Kolley Unveils New GIEPA Brand
NEWS BANJUL THE GAMBIA (MB)- "At the heart of The Gambia Investment and Export Promotion Agency (GIEPA) is a continued commitment to encourage, promote and concretize starategies for a private sector led growth that creates wealth and generates employment.
" As we reflect on the future, we must move beyond rhetoric and assert through deeds and actions the role of GIEPA," were the words of Minister of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment, Mr. Abdou Kolley at the officially launchging of GIEPA brand, held at the Kairaba Beach Hotel on 3rd March 2011.
According to Kolley, it was in 2010, that the government of the Gambia took the wise decision to transform the Gambia Investment Promotion Free Zone Agency (GIPFZA) to GIEPA, adding that, by setting up GIEPA, the government has thus restated its commitment not only to ensure investment flows, but also to build a strong export base and ensure sustainable support to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises(MSMEs).
GIEPA, therefore, has a mandate and key role to play saying that GIEPA will not only promote private investment but also to export as well as entrepreneurship and enterprise development, which he continued, are key strategies in every development.
Minister Kolley noted that the establishment of GIEPA represents a determination on the part of the government to demonstrate continuty and at the same time embrace changes in action that are needed in a ever- evolving world.
Kolley further pledges his ministry's full support to GIEPA, while acknowledging that his ministray will lead the efforts to provide the support and resources needed for GIEPA to have the desired impact.
He adds: "My ministry will work closely with the Board and Managers of GIEPA to ensure that the agency has the necessary resources to fulfill its mandate," he concluded.
Madam Fatou Mbenga Jallow, chief executive officer of GIEPA, in her statement at the launching said that the agency came into being following the closure of GIPFZA, which corresponded with the end of the Gambia Gateway Project.
Undoubtedly, she remarked that the agency GIPFZA played a crucial role in line with its mandate and the mission for which it was set up in the first place and its relevance and development of the country, she attested.
However, she maintained the dynamics of change and evolution could not be ignored coulped with the need to adapt to prevailing realistics, hence the call for new mission with added dimensions.
According to her, GIEPA has three core functions namely Investment Promotion and Facilitation headed by Mr. Musa Bah, Business and Export headed by Mr. Benjanmin Robert, and Support to MSMEs Mr. Alagie Chereno Ceesay.
She says the key to all this core function, their policy advocacy role improve the business environment in the country.
" The idea of parntnerships and collaboration for sustainable delivery of services embodies within it a commitment towards practical engagement as a critical norm and value for achieving success that the agency have placed at the centre of its vision.
Such a focus, she positioned, would require that the agency undertake practical activities that would encourage socio-economic development through the promotion and attraction of investment development of the export base, and support to MSMEs.
On centre of their role as an agency, She said the agency is to give support to the private sector through public investment and growth in the productive sector.
She noted that the government of the day has created the enabling environment for the private sector to take the lead in the socio-ecomnomic development of The Gambia, she pointed out.
For the public sector, she stated that " we all recognise the need for reforms particularly in key areas like tax administration (especially at the local level), administration of land for investment, business registration, acess to international markets among other opportunities.
To the private sector, CEO Mbenga Jallow said that they need to take the advantages of the abundant opportunities that the country has to offer and work with GIEPA to convert the challenges to success in the interest of development for the benefit of all parties.
In addition, the international community, : we call for your partnership not only to fund projects but also to work with GIEPA to increase awareness of the country.
According to her, GIEPA places particular value on partnership, and with partnership, she continued, the anticipated inputs from all stakeholders, including civil society and the media to come on board to foster mutual partnership with the agency.
Also making statement was the chairpesron of GIEPA, Mrs. Fatou Sinyen Mbergen said that with the launching of the agency, " we can now confidently tell the world that GIEPA is on its way to taking a leading role in shaping the business environment in The Gambia by providing the foundation for a sustained and bright investment climate."
According to her, the agency craves for the full support of all and sundry to stand firm and play the pivotal role it was set up to perform.
The launching ceremony was chaired by Mr. Alagie Cherno Ceesay, attended by top government officials, businessmen, and women, media, national assembly members among other dignitaries.