The Gambia National Export Strategy
Taking The Gambia’s economy to higher heights
The Gambia is a small economy that had been operating with a trade deficit for many years, with heavy dependence on imports (which account for 80% of trade). In addition, The Gambia has been heavily dependent on the export of mainly rain-dependent agricultural products. As such, the Government, through the technical support of the Commonwealth Secretariat, hired Leve Global to develop the country’s second National Export Strategy to diversify exports, strengthen emerging sectors and contribute to the achievement of the overarching economic objectives of the country.
Gambia’s National Export Strategy 2021–2025 was a critical roadmap to guide The Gambia towards export growth and diversification, recalibrating the economy away from its dependence on low value-added commodity trade; helping Gambian businesses to enter global value chains; and facilitating its post-COVID recovery, growth and resilience.
Key Project Outcomes
- Carried out extensive stakeholder consultations among a wide cross-section of stakeholders in both the public and private sectors. Over 100 stakeholders were consulted through one-on-one meetings, focus group sessions and workshops.
- Delivered 2 one-day, highly-interactive and participatory strategic planning workshop to identify the core issues and work together to develop solutions
- Carried out a sector prioritisation exercise to determine which sectors to focus and which challenges to target
- Carried out a Visioning exercise amongst stakeholders to set a vision, goal and objectives for the export sectors
- Conducted market assessment and carried out global trends analysis to identify gaps and opportunities for The Gambia to enter global value chains
- A great deal of research on the export markets, consumer trends, trade agreements, entry requirements, niche markets and strategic opportunities were carried out as well as the logistics hub initiative and the green economy opportunities.
Six priority sectors selected under the National Export Strategy:
- Horticulture and agribusiness
- Light manufacturing
Five cross-cutting strategies were addressed as follows:
- Transportation and trade facilitation
- Information and communications technology (ICT)
- Access to finance
- Human resource development
- Research, intelligence and innovation
Key success factors for effective, efficient and impactful implementation include:
- Removing supply constraints
- Moving up the value chain
- A market-driven approach
- Strengthening the country brand
- A sustainability-driven NES
- An integrated approach to implementation
- Strong stakeholder involvement
- Excellent institutional support
- A distribution-oriented focus
- Women and youth impact and involvement
Key areas of focus for the National Export Strategy included Investment, Innovation, IT, Intelligence, Inclusiveness and Implementation.
Developed a comprehensive River Value Chain and identified the River Gambia as a strategic lever to propel the wider economy, to boost the export sectors and as an innovative solution to address many of the cross-cutting issues.
GENERATING WEALTH THROUGH VALUE CREATION
For the agricultural sectors (groundnuts, cashew, horticulture and fisheries), recommended strategies to encourage firms to move higher up the value chain and generate wealth-creating opportunities, e.g. focusing on organic agriculture to cater to high-end markets.
EXPLOIT TOURISM LINKAGES
The strategy also focused on generating sustainable economic linkages, with tourism playing a pivotal and axial role in elevating the other sectors.
HIGHLY-SATISFIED WORKSHOP PARTICIPANTS
The two-day planning workshop targeted stakeholders in a variety of sectors, public sector organisations and cross-cutting areas such as transportation and finance. There were over 100 highly-satisfied participants at the workshop. A workshop evaluation was carried out and:
• 100% of participants said that the workshop adequately identified and analysed the issues
• 100% said that the workshop was efficient
• 100% said that the workshop facilitators and presentations were of adequate quality
• 98% said that the workshop achieved its objectives.