Central Bank Governor reveals 2021 diaspora remittances reaches US$657.22M

Buah Saidy, Governor of Central Bank of the Gambia,

Buah Saidy, Governor of Central Bank of the Gambia, has has disclosed that private remittances continued to be the main source of foreign exchange inflows in the domestic foreign exchange market, adding that the volume of remittances injected into the country in 2021 stands at US$657.22 million.

He made this disclosure at a press conference organised by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of the Gambia on Thursday 25th November, 2021, where he said the IMF and the Gambian authorities forecast real GDP growth of 4.9 percent this year.

“Transaction volumes in the foreign exchange market increased to US$2.49 billion in the twelve months to end-September 2021, from US$2.24 billion a year ago. Both purchases and sales of foreign currency (representing supply and demand) rose by 12.0 percent and 10.7 percent to US$1.24 billion and US1.25 billion, respectively,” Governor Saidy disclosed.

He added: “Private remittances continued to be the main source of foreign exchange inflows in the domestic foreign exchange market during the review period. Total volumes of remittances inflows from January to October 2021 outperformed the whole 2020 remittances by 11.4 percent to stand at US$657. 22 billion.”

According to him, the Gambian economy is expected to recover in 2021, due to easing restrictions in the Covid-19, protocols in many countries, adding that the anticipated economic growth for the country as forecasted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Gambian authorities.

“In 2021, the economy has been estimated to recover on account of eased restrictions on economic activities, anticipated recovery in tourism and trade and the continous support of fiscal and monetary policies. Consequently the IMF and the Gambian authorities forecast real GDP growth of 4.9 percent in 2021,” CBG Governor, Buah Saidy submitted to the press.

Domestic debt surges to D37.32B

Governor Saidy, doubling as the Chairman of the MPC highlighted that the domestic debt stock of the country has increased by two billion and sevety seven million dalasis (D2.77 billion), adding that this increment has spurred the country’s current domestic debt to D37. 32billion).

“Total outstanding domestic debt stock rose by D2.77 billion to D37.32 billion in the year to end-October 2021, compared to D34.55 billion in the corresponding period in 2020. The modest growth in the debt stock was driven partly by widened fiscal deficit financed through bond insurances as well as the government’s ongoing debt management strategy of reprofiling the debt stock to create fiscal space,” Chairman MPC revealed.

He added: “Consequently, significant progress has been realised in terms of reprofiling the debt stock as evident in the following: at end-October 2022, the short-term, medium-term, and long-term debt securities accounted for 53.6 percent, 23.3 percent, and 24.1 percent of the outstanding debt relative to 59.3 percent, 13 6 percent, and 27.0 percent, respectively in the same period.”

The Central Bank chief continued to disclose that rates traded in the foreign exchange market remain stable due largely to the strong remittances inflows recorded in the country, adducing that the dalasi is depreciating against major international currencies except for the dollar.

“On annual basis, the Dalasi marginally weakened against the Euro, the Pound Sterling and CFA Franc by 2.8 percent, 6.8 percent, and 6.6 percent respectively, but appreciated against the US Dollar by 1.0 percent as at end-September 2021,” CBG Governor disclosed.

The Committee has taken key decisions that include: Maintaining the Policy rate (MPR) at 10 percent; Maintaining the required reserve (RR) at 13 percent; and Maintaining the interest rate on the standing lending facility at 11.0 percent (MPR plus 1 percentage point).

The Committee assured the Gambian people that it will continue to closely monitor the situation and to take further necessary action as and when the situation requires.

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Sainey M.K. Marenah
Mr. Sainey M.K. Marenah is a Prominent Gambian journalist, founding editor The Alkamba Times and formerly head of communications at the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) and Communications and PR Consultant for The Gambia Pilot Program, under Gamworks. Mr. Marenah served as the Social media Strategist and Editor at Gambia Radio and Television Services. He is also the Banjul Correspondent for Voice of America Radio. Sainey is a human rights and developmental journalist who has carved a strong niche particularly in new media environments in the Gambian media industry. Mr. Marenah began his career as a junior reporter with the Point Newspaper in the Gambia in 2008 and rose through the ranks to become Chief correspondent before moving to The Standard Newspaper also in Banjul as Editorial Assistant and head of News. He is a household name in the Gambia’s media industry having covered some of the most important stories in the former and current government. These include the high profile treason cases including the Trial of Former military chiefs in Banjul in 2009 to 2012. Following his arrest and imprisonment by the former regime of President, Yahya Jammeh in 2014, Marenah moved to Dakar Senegal where he continues to practice Journalism freelancing for various local and international Media organization’s including the BBC, Al-Jazeera, VOA, and ZDF TV in Germany among others. He is the co-Founder of the Banjul Based Media Center for Research and Development; an institution specialized in research and development undertakings. As a journalist and Communication Expert, focused on supporting the Gambia's transitional process, Mr Marenah continues to play a pivotal role in shaping a viable media and communications platform that engages necessary tools and action to increase civic participation and awareness of the needs of transitional governance to strengthen the current move towards democratization. Mr. Marenah has traveled extensively as a professional journalist in both Europe, Africa and United States and attended several local and international media trainings.

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