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Economic Sectors of The Gambia

The government has created particular priorities for the following economic sectors considered having value-added contribution, foreign exchange income & employment expansion potentials for Gambia:

Agriculture             (15 sectors)


Banking


Energy


Financial


Fisheries


Food & Drinks Processing


Forestry


Information Technology


Livestock


Manufacturing


Mining


Oil / Petroleum


Telecommunications


Tourism


Transportation

Projects in the above business sectors & sub-sectors are accorded incentives in the form of duty waivers on capital equipment, materials, spare parts and raw and / or semi-finished material inputs factors. Other incentives include preferential distribution of land to the development scheme, on-job training and technical help, and identification of market opportunities for projects in the export sector. Investments in maritime shipping and air cargo services to enhance exports, are also considered for the award of investment incentives.

Opportunities are available in all economic sectors especially in fishing, tourism, manufacturing, and horticultural sub-sector.

Horticultural Sector:
This sub-sector is a major economic activity in the Gambia due to its large export market opportunities favouring its production in the country. Plots can be obtained from traditional customary land owners through local government councils.

The expansion in cold storage and dry cargo facilities at Banjul Airport compared with the demand in the export markets gives an extra advantage to exporters. There are considerable investment opportunities in the sub-sector and the concept of centralised marketing that would ensure maximising earning capacities of women and other small-scale growers, would be considered favourably. There are several large farm stakeholders with significant interests in equipment and boreholes, looking for joint ventures partnerships.

Agricultural Processing Industries:
There is little major investments in this area; however, given the size of yearly imports of goods such as fruit juice, chicken feed, roasted confectionery nuts and dairy products, the sub-sector offers significant investment opportunities. There is a need for establishing a fruit juice processing industry to cater for the surplus on exports of fresh tomatoes, mangoes, lemons, oranges and other fruits. The production of tomato paste, hot pepper sauce and processing of flour from wheat will should significantly reduce the Gambia's annual import requirements. In the same vein, creating a feed mill should complement the livestock sector. These food commodities have greater export potential to the West African sub-region as well as satisfying local demand caused by the growth of the country's tourism sector.

Fisheries Sector:
There are a number of enterprizes in this sector looking for joint ventures and / or financing for expansion and modernisation of their plant to meet rapid increases in demand for Gambian fish products in the export markets. Potential investors in the fisheries sector are accorded development incentives and also assisted by identifying export markets. There are only several businesses with processing facilities of which only a couple are operating.

Livestock Sector:
Livestock production accounts for about 6% of the GDP at current market prices (1991/92 preliminary estimates). The sector's activities are limited to rearing of cattle, pigs, small ruminants and poultry for the domestic market. In the absence of organised livestock ranching to cater for the demand for beef and milk products in the domestic market as well as our growing tourism industry, the sector offers opportunities for further investment. Similarly, enterprizes engaged in chicken production are limited by the high cost of imported feed stuffs, resulting in unsatisfactory supply delivery to hotels and the local consumer market.

Manufacturing Sector:
Manufacturing activities are limited to small and medium-sized enterprizes producing mainly for the local domestic market. There are large deposits of Kaolin discovered in one of the provinces in the Upper River Region (URR), Titaniferous beach sands, and salt which are currently unexploited. The demand for sanitary fittings and quality ceramic tiles are at the moment met through local imports. Investment in a foundry that uses scrap metals for the production of finished-iron and metal plates required in the construction industry and small-scale repair workshops, offers good opportunities. Similarly, light pharmaceutical industry and engineering for manufacturing and assembling of mechanical & and components for domestic appliances and repair shops, are considered to be potential areas of investment.

Because of The Gambia's strategic location and competitive price costings, the manufacturing sector in the enjoys export opportunities to the sub-regional markets.

Tourism:
The Tourism Sector continues to play a significant role in the Gambia's economic development process. The sector provides employment opportunities as well as enhances foreign exchange earnings for the country. The number of visitors to the country in 1991/92 was estimated at 109,164 of which air chartered visitors accounted for 60% of the total. The estimated average daily expenditure for tourist for the period under review, was D300 and gross earnings was estimated at D432.00 million. The number of hotel beds was 5,070 for 22 hotels operating during the same period of time.

The government is committed to a planned development and expansion of the vacation sector to include cultural and ecotourism in order to maximise the benefits from tourism. In this regard, the growth of infrastructures to designated tourism development areas including natural forest parks, monuments of cultural significance, land marks, are considered under the sector's development strategy.

There are number of hotel development projects seeking for joint venture and/or financing including, construction of 5 Star hotels, restaurants and bars, and recreation activities. However, the immediate investment priority for the sector is in tour operations targeting the Middle-East, United States and the EU. Investments in airline operations linking the Gambia and the targeted destinations have greater potentials and will give sustenance to the growth and development of the tourism industry.

Services Sector:
The development of capital markets and growth of financial middlemen to expand and facilitate access to credit by investors in the productive sectors of the economy will enhance the production capacity of these enterprizes with the multiplier effects on the growth of the Gambian economy.

Investment opportunities are available in sea and air transport services which link the Gambia and the sub-region to promote trade as well as allow supply sources of raw material inputs for the services industry. Also investment in the river transportation industry which links, Banjul and the up-country areas will ease the flow of goods and persons to the urban towns and cities.
 
See also Broadcasting Sector
 
 
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