National Industrial Policy

The current industrial policy was prepared in 1996 and undoubtedly outdated. MOTIE, with support of ECOWAS, has initiated the review and update of the 1996 industrial policy for a new industrial policy that supports a private sector-led growth geared towards an aggressive export-led strategy. The current policy seeks to “increase employment through the expansion of the number of jobs at the prevailing level of productivity and a continuous drive to improve the level of productivity, technology and technological capability.” It is expected that the new industrial policy would embrace continuous change in technology as a basis for reduction of unit cost of production and higher productivity.

 

The review and update of the National Industrial Policy (NIP) of 1996 is in recognition of the fact that placing the Gambian economy on a higher and more labour-absorbing growth path requires that the country deals with a number of structural factors that still affects the economy’s productive capacity and competitiveness.

 

The NIP’s purpose is to expand production in value-added sectors, with high employment and growth multipliers that can compete in export markets as well as in the domestic market against imports. It places emphases on more labour-absorbing production and services sectors, and increased participation of citizenry.

 

The Policy would be set within the context of the Gambia’s long-term strategic vision of achieving middle income status by 2020, through transformation into an industry-driven economy capable of delivering decent jobs with widespread, equitable and sustainable growth and development. It would provide clear and transparent guidelines for the implementation of Government’s industrial development agenda, with respect to the growth, diversification, upgrading and competitiveness of the country’s manufacturing sector.

 

The key development objectives of the new NIP would be:

  • To expand productive employment in the manufacturing sector
  • To expand technological capacity in the manufacturing sector
  • To promote agro-based industrial development
  • To increase industrial export
  • To promote the growth and development of MSMEs
  • To promote linkage between agriculture and industry, particularly the manufacturing sector
  • Contribute to the economic transformation and diversification for sustainable and inclusive growth.

 

Strategies of Industrial Policy include:

 

  • National Entrepreneurship Development programme to enhance the absorptive capacity to internalize FDI through local and foreign partnerships that infuse capital and introduce technological know-how and managerial expertise;
  • An eclectic approach will be explored to promote export oriented industrialization, import substitution industrialization and primary resource based industrialization.
  • Government procurement system will be used to support indigenous enterprises under competitive and transparent procedures provide critical financing support to them;
  • Promote harmonization of sectoral policies and hence the need to have strong and high level institutions to coordinate the various ministries and departments involved in the National Industrial Policy issues.
  • Constant monitoring and reviewof Industrial Policy due to the dynamic nature of the sector. 
  • Develop a Private Sector Development Strategy that provides focus programme on strengthening the capacity of the private sector to enhance its participation in the manufacturing sector.
  • Promote industrial sector financing (long term financing)andGovernment will facilitate the development of various financial instruments that would encourage investment in the industrial sector and related sectors.
  • Develop an investment policy that seeks to promote investment in the industrial sector.
  • Create industrial facilities such as  industrial estate, industrial technology park, clusters and incubators to provide critical supports to private sector participation in industrial activities, particularly manufacturing.
  • Provide reliable, affordable and accessible energy resources for the industrial sector to enhance its competiveness.
  • Invest in technical skills development to meet the human resource needs of the industrial sector.

 

The new industrial policy will review the strategies of the current policy and will outline specific policy instruments and measures to be applied to improve access to competitive factors of production within the economy and enhance productivity, efficiency and growth of the manufacturing sector to reinforce industrial development. Its strategic thrust would be derived from the key development planning frameworks of the Government of the Gambia namely the Vision 2020and Programme for Accelerated Growth and Employment.

 

As part of the efforts to promote industrial development, Government is currently implementing a UNIDO Country Programme. The programme aimed at promoting industrial development through policy advice, investment initiatives to increase productivity, quality maintenance, energy efficiency and agro transformation. The Gambia Country Programme focused on the following components:

 

  • Agro-industries (food processing, the groundnut and cashew nut sectors);
  • Private sector development (focus on small-scale PSDs);
  • Industrial competitiveness (composite units and assistance in the formulation of an industrial policy);
  • Trade capacity building (quality infrastructure, metrology and standards); and
  • Renewable energy for productive activities (Mini-grids, etc).

 

The implementation of the MTP therefore also covers these components of the UNIDO Country Programme to complement the MTP’s effort to improve the Gambia’s competitiveness, attract investment and build trade capacities for enhanced production for trade and poverty reduction.

 

The success of the industrial policy will be measured by the extent to which it empowers the private sector, predominantly but not limited to MSMEs, to expand and create opportunities for employment and reduce poverty and spatial inequalities in The Gambia. 

 

The MTP recognizes the current industrial policy review undertaking by the Ministry with the support of UNCTAD and would make the necessary adjustments to the present strategic document to reflect the new industrial policy, strategies and the implementation activities.

 

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