By: Kebba Ansu Manneh
Buah Saidy, Governor of the Central Bank of The Gambia (CBG), has revealed that the domestic debt of the country as of October 2023 has increased to a staggering forty-two billion and eight hundred million dalasi (D42.8billion), accounting for 29.0 percent of the GDP.
Speaking at the Central Bank quarterly Monetary Policy Meeting
during a briefing in Banjul on Thursday, 30th November 2023, the governor said the country’s Apex Bank has enough foreign exchange reserves to serve for four months of imports of goods and services.
“From December 2022 to October 2023, the nominal value of government domestic debt stock grew by 4.7 percent to stand at D42.8 billion, accounting for 29.0 percent of GDP. Of all the total domestic debt stock, short-term debt accounted for 49.8 percent. In comparison, medium to long-term debt constituted 50.2 percent, “Governor Buah Saidy revealed at the quarterly Monetary Policy Meeting (MPC) press conference.
He added: “Latest Data shows that yields on short-term government securities are declining, revising the rising trend observed since the beginning of the year. The fall in interest rates is in response to increased liquidity in the banking system. The weighted average yield on short-term government securities dropped from 12.0 percent in August 2023 to 5.4 percent In October 2022.”
According to him, the dalasi continues to be relatively stable against major currencies, judging it by the challenging global crisis, noting that owing to the high demand for foreign currencies to finance import bills, the dalasi depreciated against three major trading currencies.
“From June to September 2023, it (dalasi) depreciated by 2.7 percent, 2.3 percent, and 0.2 percent against the US dollar, Euro, and CFA, respectively, but appreciated by 1.5 percent against the British Pound Sterling,” CBG Governor further revet.
Governor Buah Saidy further disclosed that the Central Bank continues to hold comfortable with the level of its foreign exchange reserves at the tune of US$389.1 million as of the end of September 2023, noting that this volume of foreign exchange reserves can cover the cost of importation of goods and services of the country for four months.
CBG Chief also said that The Gambian economy continues its strong recovery path, aided by robust consumer demands, recovery in tourism activities, and buoyant public and private sector investments.