The Gambia National Export Strategy
The Gambia was plagued by political instability for a number of years, returning to democracy in 2016. The instability of the socio-political landscape left The Gambia behind many of its competitors. To bring the country back to a path of recovery, the National Development Plan 2018-2021 (NDP) was created. The NDP places great emphasis on poverty alleviation and recognises that, for real change to take place, new models needed to be adopted as past efforts to fight poverty were ineffective. Poverty levels remained virtually unchanged in the past decade. The percentage of households living below the poverty line of $1.90/day was 48.4% in 2010, and remained at that level in 2020.
The Government recognised the critical role that exports played in driving economic growth. As such, the Government, through the technical support of the Commonwealth Secretariat, retained Leve Global to develop their National Export Strategy (2020-2025).
A number of activities were included in this assignment as follows:
- A thorough audit and prioritisation of existing export sectors was carried out and six priority sectors were identified
- Light Manufacturing
- Carried out a highly-participatory, two-day Stakeholder Workshop in the Capital of Banjul.
- Analyzed the country’s export environment and identified the critical factors impacting the Gambia’s medium and long term export prospects.
- Developed a thorough diagnostic study and situational analysis of the priority sectors inclusive of sector SWOT analyses.
- Carried out global Competitive Analysis
- Developed value chains for each of the sectors
- Identified strategic gaps and opportunities for value to be maximised and grow export competitiveness.
- Carried out Market Assessments and market prioritisation with a focus on exploiting non-traditional markets for:
- Light Manufacturing
- Carried out in-depth analysis and developed strategies for six cross-cutting areas including:
- Human Resource Development
- Transportation and Trade Facilitation
- Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
- Access to Finance
- Research, Intelligence and Innovation
- Economic Visioning and Export Conceptualisation Exercise
- Analysed foreign trade policy and made recommendations for the country to better take advantage of regional and global value chains
- Action planning and strategic development
- Development of an implementation framework to manage, monitor and evaluate the activities of over 20 public and private sector agencies
120 STRATEGIES AT US $15 MILLION
Developed over 120 strategic initiatives valued at over US $15 Million covering 6 priority sectors, 5 cross-cutting areas and implemented by more than 20 public and private sector organisations.
DEVELOPED 6 PRIORITY SECTORS
Six priority sectors were identified and analysed, including:
- Light Manufacturing
ADDRESSED 5 CROSS-CUTTING ISSUES
Five cross-cutting areas identified and analysed, including:
• Human Resource Development
• Transportation and Trade Facilitation
• Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
• Access to Finance
• Research, Intelligence and Innovation
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 core success factor and 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 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,
• 96% said that the workshop met their expectations