The Gambia: Allure of the smiling coast of Africa

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Visiting The Gambia a first and second time has always left one with this strong longing for another. The reason is quite simple. Living in a society where life and living are tasking, one cannot but long for an escape which this small country with its warm people and caressing weather provides.

Arguably, the smallest country in Africa where the entire population is estimated at two million, The Republic of the Gambia is an interesting destination, especially for tourists who, since the country’s independence in 1965, have been feasting on its huge natural endowments for tourism.

Gambia is a small country, no doubt. The entire country sits on a small land area measuring 11.295 square kilometers, about 4361square miles, which is bordered by the deep blue sea called Atlantic Ocean. But nature is always kind and so, compensates for whatever man in his short-sightedness sees as disadvantage.

Gambia is fondly called ‘The Smiling Coast of Africa’ and there are several reasons for this enticing sobriquet. Unlike its West African neighbours where the population is huge and the economy is buoyant, yet the people are hungry, angry, aggressive and agitated over anything and everything, the Gambia has a large dose of smiles from both nature and fate.

This agriculturally fertile country, dominated by farming, fishing and tourism with its capital in Banjul and English as its official language, has a warm weather and the usual wet and dry seasons. Around March, its weather is cool and usually characterised by chilly breeze which is warm for European tourists.

Tourism in the country is the equivalent of Nigerian oil. It has become the fastest growing sector of the economy as visitors coming in every year are drawn by its beaches, birds, sunshine and the culture.

As a country, Gambia …

Gambia woos Nigerian investors, offers tax-free incentives, unfettered access to land

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The government of The Gambia, one of Nigeria’s English speaking West African neighbours, has told visiting Nigerian investors that the country is free, good and open to business.
The country assured the investors of a number of incentives including free tax and VAT operations, unfettered access to land and 100 percent profit repatriation.

Isatou Touray, the vice president of the country, at a dinner to receive the Nigerian investors in Banjul, the Gambian capital, on Saturday, noted that in rebuilding the country after 22 years of dictatorship, they needed private capital to be injected into their economy.

Touray said the country looked up particularly to Nigeria as big brother in Africa and it’s investors to help in their economic block building efforts by investing in the country.

The vice president who represented the president, Adams Boro, whose election in January 2016 ended the many years of dictatorship in the country, pointed out that the country needed investment in critical sectors of its economy including agriculture, tourism, real estate, manufacturing, energy etc.

Earlier, Seedy Bittayean, an official of the the Gambian Import and Export Promotion Agency (GIEPA) had explained to BusinessDay in an interview that the country needed investors
In order to jumpstart their economy and also to reduce their exposure to imported items including foodstuff which, in some cases, according to him, was as high as 90 percent.

Bittaye, whose agency overseas import and export activities and investment inflow into the country, noted that the country needed investors most in agriculture in order to tap into the opportunities the vast arable land in the country offered and create jobs.

He disclosed that efforts were being made to reform land tenure system in the country not only to put an end to land grabbing which was … Read More...