The Gambia has opened its doors for African Solidarity Fund (ASF) in order to accelerate economic development of the country and enhancement of businesses locally, regionally and internationally.

The objective of the mission in The Gambia is to discuss with Gambian authorities, private sector and other stakeholders about the ASF and identify potential areas of engagements.

The African Solidarity Fund has a mission to contribute to the economic development and social progress of its African member states by facilitating, through its various intervention techniques, access to the financial resources necessary for the realisation of investment and other income generating activities.

It objectives include the transformation of ASF into a leading international institution in the Africa continent with an optimal organisation that is flexible, scalable, and responsive.  

It also seeks to increase financing and intervention capacities in members countries by strengthening the capital of the ASF and developing alternative financing mechanisms.

The African Solidarity Fund has about 21 member states countries including The Gambia and they are intervening in those countries with a vision to have a strong and innovative Pan-African institution at the service of the structural transformation of member states’ economy in 2025. 

The shareholding of the ASF includes the four African economic groupings, namely ECOWAS, ECCAS,COMESA and AMU, thus reflecting the Pan-African character of the Fund and establishing it as a link between these regional integration zones in Africa.

At a launching ceremony held at a local hotel in Banjul Seedy K.M. Keita minister of Finance and Economic Affairs said The African Solidarity Fund (ASF) is a multilateral development institution established in 1975 and is headquartered in Niamey, Niger. 

The ASF began its activities in 1979 and its intervention tools have contributed significantly to the economic growth and social prosperity of Member States. It consists of 21 Member States, including The Gambia (recently joined in 2023)

“It is against this backdrop that the ASF made a courtesy call on some Ministries and the private sector to discuss possible areas of collaboration. I believe that the conclusions of the discussions will be part of the basis that will guide ASF intervention in the Gambia.”

Minister Keita said participation of the ASF in the economic development of the Gambia is another testimony of the confidence of the development partners in the country. And they are confident that the private sector will leverage on the financing opportunities that the ASF will present.

Adding private sector lead growth strategy of Government and they will work tirelessly to provide opportunities for the private sector by opening doors for them to access support from  development funding agencies.

Jean Berchman Nkurunziza, Central Director of Strategy and Operation, said it is a Pan-African Financial Institution, dedicated to the mobilization of financial resources for both private and public projects, for the delivery of infrastructure, access to finance for MSMEs and the facilitation of intra-African trade.

He said the event is a historic moment for the ASF and The Gambia, as it marks the beginning of translating into concrete action the Fund’s commitment to deploy its intervention tools in The Gambia for the benefit of economic growth, entrepreneurship and sustainable development in its member countries.

“Today, we want to usher in A new era of development activities, an era of opportunity, growth and prosperity in The Gambia. Together, we are opening the door to a future where boldness and innovation are encouraged, dreams become realities, and success is within everyone’s reach.”

Mr Berchman said The African Solidarity Fund plays a vital role in providing financial guarantees to businesses in different sectors of activity, and to all those seeking to invest, innovate and create jobs.

Reporting by Mariama Marong

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