By: Alagie Cherno Suwareh
During his thirty-minute address at the Multi-Agency Stakeholders’ Enlightenment on Key Reforms of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council as outlined in National Action Plan 7.0 on Agro-Export, Ismaila Badjie, an esteemed expert in shipping and logistics hailing from Gambia and based in Nigeria, underscored several critical points.
He stressed the paramount importance of ensuring a steady supply of foreign exchange for exporters, promoting further digitalization within the export sector, and advocated for the establishment of a streamlined one-stop shop that reduces bureaucratic hurdles. Additionally, he emphasized the necessity of expanding access to global markets and streamlining the cargo export process.
Badjie also raised a crucial point about the need for Gambia to focus on exporting more than importing, as the current scenario sees less than 10% of imports being counterbalanced by exports.
It’s worth noting that Mr. Badjie had previously offered valuable advice to the Gambian Government, urging them to take essential steps to transform Banjul Port into an efficient and digitized facility. He recommended enhancing consumer confidence, engaging with major shipping lines to secure commitments, and gaining insights into their medium and long-term plans. This strategy would be crucial to ensure the viability of the project, particularly in light of the expansion efforts already realized in Senegal, Ivory Coast, and Ghana.
Mr. Badjie also shared his insights with TFN reporters, suggesting that the upcoming Sanyang Port should be developed as a multipurpose facility catering to bulk and break bulk shipments, containers, and roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) services. He stressed that this endeavor would entail a significant investment, beginning with the construction of breakwaters. He expressed confidence that, if executed according to plan and with necessary considerations, this project could substantially bolster the Gambian economy and establish vital global connections for the country.