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  • Writer's pictureBuba Ceesay

Opinion: The Gambia's Economic Conundrum: Benefits of Remittances should be Highlighted

Even though The Gambia has a small population with only 2.5 million inhabitants, the Gambians abroad remit almost $800 million back home every year. This contribution of foreign money is a great economic force power for the small West African state. Nevertheless, almost 80 percent of what Gambia consumes now comes from imports hence immense cash outflows that lead to a loss of benefits associated with remittance inflows.

This unbalance between cash introduced by remittances and cash put out to imports is not sustainable. Governance in the Gambia must incorporate many policies geared towards boosting local production and exploiting more consumption needs internally rather than through imports. Developing the local industries will keep a majority of the remittance dollars in the economy and to a great extent enhance self-reliance and economic stability.

Among the specific measures should be a diversity of incentives and capacity building for entrepreneurs in manufacturing, investment in vocational training to build the local skills base, and channelling remittances to transportation infrastructure, energy sector and information technology. Upgrading the infrastructure will increase the level of productivity and competitiveness among Gambian businesses as well as the subregion.

Furthermore, enlarging the financial services which include diaspora Gambians and also the home consumers will optimize the usage of remittance funds. Mobile and online banking designed for migrants enables cheaper and much faster remittance transfers. While Gambians are being connected to banking, credit and saving products, remittance income can turn into items and investable assets locally.

Through good policies focused on infrastructure improvement, skills development and also accessible financial services The Gambia can exploit its well-embedded remittances to get a sustainable long-term prosperity instead of short-term consumption. Domesticizing more remittance cash flows will be very critical for the country's self-reliance and the livelihoods of citizens across the country. However, sound policies should be implemented immediately for The Gambia to take this chance.

Buba Ceesay

Editors note: Views expressed herein are those of the author and does not necessarily represent the views of Got an opinion article for publication? send it to us at


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Copyright: 2017 - 2022 | GunjurOnline™
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