Supporting Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in the post COVID-19 pandemic era in The Gambia.
UNDP in partnership with the Ministry of Trade, Regional Integration, Industry, and Employment (MOTIE) organized a policy forum on 14th December 2020 to review the priority challenges facing the MSMEs in The Gambia, especially in relation to their performance and develop a roadmap to address the bottlenecks impeding the growth and productivity of the sector.
Micro, Small and Medium Size Enterprises (MSMEs) are the backbone of The Gambian economy. The sector employs 60% of the active labour force and contributes approximately 20% to the GDP. These MSMEs thrive at the formal and informal levels and play multiple roles in the economy, absorbing labour, building skills through apprenticeships and introducing new services and products to the market in alignment with the Gambia National Policy for MSMEs 2019-2024.
The Gambia has a significant number of recently updated policies, acts, and reports which address private sector development, entrepreneurship, MSMEs, and youth employment amongst others. But despite the existence of these state-of-the-art policies and legislations, the country continues to face the challenge of implementation, sustainability and inclusion.
“The majority of informal sector workers are women and protecting the economic empowerment of Gambian women should be utmost priority in post-COVID context, said Aissata De, UNDP Resident Representative in her statement.
The forum was organized with specific objectives of bringing together the key decision makers in the Government, Private Sector and MSMEs Umbrella Organizations, Civil Society Organizations and development partners to discuss and agree the way forward in addressing some of the priority issues affecting MSMEs in the Post COVID-19 era, taking into account the possible opportunities offered by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The roadmap for addressing challenges facing MSMEs was agreed and the advisory forum for dialogue and implementation was institutionalized.