Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Jammeh Launches WAAP, GCCP Projects Officially

NEWS BANJUL THE GAMBIA (MB)- The president of the Gambia Shekh Prof. Dr. Alhagi Yahya Jammeh, on Tuesday 22 March 2011, at the Kairaba Beach Hotel Launches the Gambia Growth and competitiveness project (GCCP). And the West African Agricultural Production Project (WAAP). The project is financed through a Grant with the International Development Association (IDA), allocation of US$ 12 million equivalent to be implemented over a period of five. 

 The project seeks to provide support to the financial and private sector development in the west African Agricultural productivity project which is also a US $ 12 million project seeks to create job creation agenda, especially in the area of agribusiness and tourism. In his launching statement the president said that the (tulk projects being launched today, that is the GGCP and Waap will build on the success registered in the sector. 
 By his government and the predecessor projects financed by the world bank, namely the Gambia Emergency Agricultural project and the Trade Gateway projects. The GGCP and WAAP are timely, adding that considering that they have been designed to respond and mitigate the impact on the three ‘Fs’.  
 Citing Fuel, food and financial crises, particularly for small open economies like the Gambia the president noted that Waap is indeed a substantial projects, that will attract an investment of 1.3 million US Dollars to be funded through an IDA grant of $7.0 million and a food crisis response core Trust fund Grant of 5.0 million US Dollars.
  “ I have learnt that the GCCP seeks to address and contribute further to the development of agriculture through an out –grower scheme,” he told gathering. He went on the project will be in two phases, phase one he said which spans year one to four, is to test and develop the establishment of a commercial mango farming system. In partnership with one or more private investors in order to produce a consistent volume, and quality of new and existing mango varieties targeted for the fresh fruits exports market. 
 As well as supporting private investments in processing secondary and tertiary quality produce for domestic markets, phase two he added will run from year four to five, should competently strengthen the capacity of small holder farmers, and link them to the international market supply chain, particularly for exporting premium grade mangoes. 
 He noted that phase two will also support the establishment of primary, and secondary processing facilities for pulping, freezing and drying and that the pulping, and freezing processes, will result in much needed production of high ingredients for the yea round generations. 
 The president also appeal to the Bank Group management to consider a second phase of the community Driven Development Project (CDDP) and the Gambia Emergency Agricultural Project GEAP two, both of which he said have made a tremendous impact on the beneficiaries. 
 He urged the Bank to expeditiously finalise the pipeline projects, that is the African Coast to Europe project, the Budjet Support Operations, the energy project and the commercial Agriculture and value chain project. In his opening remarks on behalf of the world Bank Team, Carlos Cavarcanti World Bank Senior economist in the Gambia. 
 Stated that The Gambia was included in the project in the last minute and, had to meet readiness conditions at very short noticed. Adding that one has to acknowledge the rare teat of professionals works long after the midnight candle has gone out, to bring the project to effectiveness. 
 “It is a truism that Agriculture is a dominant economic sector in the Economic community of West African states (ECOWAS), but its low productivity seriously erodes the competiveness of African products on world and domestic markets,” he said. 
 The senior economist said that under the project, they expect The Gambia to, amongst other initiatives, further develop add value, and expand its seed improvement, certification, and multiplication programs, as its comparative advantage, so that it will emerge as the certified seeds supplier of the region, which has a large market. 
 He reminded that, in order to complement the on-going projects, the world Bank is working closely with Government and other stakeholders to bring to effectiveness the following project in the pipeline, Budget support, the commercial Agriculture and value chain, the Telecom project (ACE) which is at pre-appraisal stage, and due for Band date of this 21 and the energy project. 
 “WAAP may thus be viewed as part of a larger commitment by the World Bank to assist countries to enhance long term food availability by providing a mix of support for short-term medium and longer-term investments for increased agricultural productivity”, he indicated. 
  Earlier his statement the minister of  Finance and economic Affairs Mam Mbury Njie noted that the project’s higher level objective is to contribute towards sustaining the growth of the Gambia economy, and enhancing poverty reduction through private sector led growth. 
  According to him its key outcomes are investment climate reforms to reduce the entry barriers and operating cost for business, enhanced access to finance and private investment flows, improved performance especially for firms in the tourism and hospitality sectors. And linkages between small producers and domestic and international markets. 
 The finance minister assured his ministry readiness to provide all necessary support, that would facilitate timely and efficient implementation of the project.

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