By Ramatoulie Jawo
Buah Saidy, the Governor of the Central Bank of The Gambia, revealed on Saturday, January 13th, 2023, that remittance inflows for the year 2023 amounted to USD 737.12 million. This figure represents 32.11% of the nominal GDP, marking a 3.46% increase from the previous year.
The disclosure took place during the seventh Stake in the Nation Forum (SNF6), organized by the Migration and Sustainable Development in The Gambia (MSDG) project. The event, held at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Centre in Bijilo, centered around the theme “Innovation and Impacts for Inclusive Development.”
Saidy highlighted that the growth in remittance inflows was attributed to enhanced monitoring methods, increased utilization of formal channels by the diaspora, and advancements in technology facilitating remittance transactions. The emergence of fintech companies was acknowledged for contributing to the reduction in the cost of sending and receiving remittances.
“Let me now share with you, the remittance inflows in 2023. For the year 2023, the total remittance inflow to the Gambia stood at USD 737.12 million, which accounted for 32.11% of our nominal GDP and represents an increase of 3.46% over the same period in 2022
“The expansion is partly due to improved monitoring methodology and the increased use of formal channels by the diaspora and the use of technology in sending remittance. The emergence of fintech companies is believed to have also lowered the cost of sending and receiving remittances,” he said.
He emphasized the positive outcomes of the technical cooperation between the Central Bank of The Gambia and GK Partners through the MSDG Project since 2017. The collaboration resulted in notable improvements in remittance data, policy monitoring, analysis, and innovation, earning international recognition for The Gambia as a model of good practice in remittance data analysis.
“These have been recognized internationally, and The Gambia now serves as an example and case study of good practice regarding remittance data analyses maintaining leadership and innovation in the field of diaspora finance.” he said
The Central Bank Governor stressed the crucial role of remittances in the economic development of The Gambia, acknowledging their significant impact on various aspects of Gambian life.
“Remittances continue to play a pivotal role in the economic development of the Gambia and its economic impact cannot be overestimated Over the years, official statistics on remittances have recorded a substantial inflow of funds, providing direct economic benefits to Gambians from all walks of life,” he told the gathering.
The Minister of Higher Education Research, Science, and Technology, Professor Pierre Gomez, echoed the importance of the forum’s theme, emphasizing practical actions and strategies to enhance the contribution of higher education to national development.
“The theme of the 7th Stake in the Nation Forum, ‘Innovation and Impact for Inclusive Development,’ resonates deeply with the ethos of our Ministry. The Parallel Higher Education Conference, focusing on Improving the Development Impact of Higher Education, will provide us with a unique opportunity to deliberate on practical actions and strategies to enhance the contribution of tertiary and higher education to national development,” he said.
He said their policies and frameworks are not mere documents but blueprints for the future stating “a future where every Gambian, regardless of background, can thrive and contribute to the prosperity of our nation,” said Prof, Gomez. Hon. Momodou Tangara, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, representing President Adama Barrow, highlighted the vital role played by the diaspora in the country’s economic development. He emphasized the need for innovation in development activities to ensure a positive impact.
“ However, the magnitude, quality, and sustainability of impacts depend largely on the level of innovation incorporated in the development activities themselves. Given the current development status of our country, we need to increase both innovations in practice, and the impact of programmes,” Tangara said.
Mr. Tangara went on to express gratitude to the government of Switzerland for their decade-long technical partnership with GK partners and their ongoing financial support to the Migration Sustainable Development Gambia (MSDG) project and other programmes in the Gambia.
Professor Gibril Faal, the Director of the MSDG Project, recognized the contributions of Gambians in the diaspora to the socioeconomic development of The Gambia. He appealed for continued support, partnership, and interaction for the common goal, thanking the President and his government for their ongoing support. The parallel conference on higher education was also mentioned as a valuable addition to the forum.
“We appealed to you and ask you to kindly continue the support, the partnership, and the interaction for the common goal. I thank the President and his government for their continuous support and today for this forum we have the parallel conference on higher education with very interesting and revolutionary topics, and we look forward to having great sessions on that,” he said.