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The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group has signed a new five-year framework agreement that aims at boosting trade development across The Gambia’s agriculture, energy, healthcare and private sectors.

The agreement, signed with Mambury Njie, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs (IsDB Governor), is part of the Corporation’s ongoing efforts to combat the economic repercussions from COVID-19 and strengthen key economic sectors in member countries. The agreement will see the Corporation provide $50 million annually to The Gambia.

This $250 million framework agreement will provide pre-export financing for major cash crops such as groundnuts and cashew nuts, the main agricultural produce in a sector that is a major employer of the country’s workforce. In addition, this agreement will also facilitate the import of essential agriculture inputs such as fertiliser.

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In the energy sector, the financing will enable imports of key commodities such as refined petroleum, which is crucial to generate electricity in the country. Other sectors that will benefit from the five-year framework agreement include the healthcare sector through the import of medicines and health equipment. The private sector will be supported through financing facilities to local banks and financial institutions aimed at boosting local SMEs.

Technical assistance for trade development aimed at building capacity and promoting information exchange and knowledge dissemination are other areas covered in the agreement.

Minister Njie highlighted that this framework agreement would support national development goals to drive economic diversification and job creation across key growth sectors, while facilitating trade and investment flows within the country, as well as globally through the country’s participation in agriculture value chains.

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The ITFC and its commitment to The Gambia

Reiterating ITFC’s commitment to supporting its member countries, Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, ITFC CEO, said: “The five-year framework agreement will make way for further cooperation with the government of The Gambia across key economic sectors whilst fostering greater collaboration with the country’s budding private sector to drive SME growth. In addition to crucial import-export financing, the agreement also has provisions to help develop the country into a stronger trading nation through enhanced capacity development and knowledge transfer programmes.”

Since inception in 2008, ITFC has approved a total of $607 million in favour of The Gambia, from energy to employment through agriculture, it reaffirms ITFC’s proven strategy of investing in key sectors of its member countries and thus contributing towards the development of the priority industries.