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Central Bank of The Gambia Launches 3-Day Journalist Training on Financial Reporting

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Group photo of participants

By Ramatoulie Jawo 

The Central Bank of The Gambia (CBG) kicked off a three-day workshop dedicated to enhancing the financial reporting acumen of journalists from various media outlets.

The training program, which commenced on Tuesday, is designed to bolster the journalists’ abilities to accurately and effectively cover topics related to economics, banking, and financial matters within the Gambia.Recognizing the vital role that journalists play in disseminating information, the CBG values their contribution to educating the public about the bank’s objectives, operations, and overall function.

The event assembled a mix of seasoned journalists, editors, and lead reporters to engage with Central Bank officials. This interaction aimed to deepen their understanding of the bank’s goals, principles, and activities.

Muhammed S. Bah, President of the Gambia Press Union, highlighted the Central Bank’s significant influence on the country’s economic framework. He outlined the bank’s diverse responsibilities, which include maintaining stability in prices and exchange rates and fostering economic growth.

Bah stressed the necessity for journalists to grasp the complexities of the Central Bank’s responsibilities. He pointed out that the bank’s decisions have a tangible effect on the Gambian populace, affecting everything from the cost of living to the stability of the nation’s currency.

He also emphasized the importance of a reciprocal relationship between the press and the Central Bank. While journalists work to understand monetary policies, the bank should also appreciate the media’s role.

“As journalists, it is incumbent upon us to comprehend the intricacies of the central bank’s mandate. We must delve into its objectives, understand its policies, and scrutinize its actions. Why? Because the decisions made within the central bank have a direct impact on the lives of every Gambian. From inflation targets to currency stability, these factors influence the cost of living, the availability of credit, and the overall health of our economy,” he said. 

Bah called for journalists to not only understand but also hold the Central Bank accountable, as transparency and accountability are fundamental to democracy. He encouraged the media to serve as vigilant overseers of the bank’s actions, ensuring they align with the public’s best interests.

“Our responsibility does not end with understanding. We must also hold the central bank accountable. Accountability is the bedrock of democracy. It ensures transparency, fosters trust, and safeguards against malfeasance. Through our reporting, investigations, and analysis, we must act as watchdogs, ensuring that the central bank operates in the best interest of the people it serves,” he said. 

He commended the CBG for organizing the workshop, viewing it as a testament to their dedication to openness and responsibility. He urged participants to take full advantage of the training to enhance their knowledge and collaboration and ultimately contribute to a thriving Gambia.

Dr. Paul J Mendy, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank, shared that the CBG is actively employing strategies to combat inflation and other economic challenges. He reported a decrease in the inflation rate from 16.2% to 14.9% as of May 14, 2024, marking a significant step forward, particularly in comparison to other regions.

“I am happy to report that. While our war against inflation has not been won yet, we are making progress. For example, the country’s inflation rate has dropped from 16.2 percent to 14.9 percent as of 14 May, 2024. This is significant especially when comparing our current economic situation to others within the subregion and beyond,” he said. 

He acknowledged the global economy’s volatility and underscored the heightened need for strong alliances between central banks and the media.

“We have realized that even though our work cuts across and affects all spheres of socioeconomic activities. Not many people adequately understand this. For instance. If inflation or interest rates rise, consumers of varying economic status will feel the impact,” he added. 

Dr. Mendy reassured the journalists of the CBG’s commitment to transparency, inviting them to freely approach the bank with any public inquiries or concerns. He affirmed the bank’s ongoing efforts to maintain an open dialogue with the media and the public at large.

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