WTO accession
23 October 1996
Per capita growth rate (%)
Poverty head count (%)
WB Ease of Doing Business rank
Share of international non-oil trade (%)
Value of non-oil goods traded (in US$ million)
Logistics performance Index (LPI)
2011 data - Sources: UNCTAD, World Bank, WTO, UN Comtrade

The Gambia became an Integrated Framework (IF) beneficiary in 2006, and undertook preparations for a Diagnostic Trade Integration Study (DTIS), From Entrepôt to Exporter and Eco-Tourism”, which was validated in July 2009. At the same time, the IF National Steering Committee (NSC) was established.

Description of the projects (objectives and interventions)

Tier 1 Project

Under the EIF, The Gambia's Tier 1 project, "Support to National Implementation Arrangements (NIAs)", was approved in December 2009. The project objective was to build the capacity of the National Implementation Unit (NIU) and trade-related institutions to assist in the implementation of the DTIS Action Matrix. This would help to deal effectively and efficiently with trade policy development and implementation, trade integration and facilitation for the greater benefit of The Gambian economy.

The Gambia's Tier 1 project has been extended into phase 2 with approval from the EIF Board in July 2013, after a satisfactory Tier 1 Mid-term evaluation. The Tier 1 phase 2 project (August 2013 to July 2015) will continue supporting Aid for Trade (AfT) programmes, implementation of the National Export Strategy (NES) and the Medium Term Programme (MTP), as well as sustaining the institutional capacities of line Ministries to ensure the continued undertaking of the trade development agenda.

Tier 2 Projects

The Gambia's Tier 2 project "Sector Competitiveness and Export Diversification Project" (SCEDP) was approved by the EIF Board in January 2012 and has been under implementation since June 2012 by ITC. The project aims to strengthen targeted sectors' competitiveness, promote new business opportunities in domestic, regional and international markets and generate additional incomes as well as create employment. The project targets agri-sector-specific support for cashew nuts, groundnuts and sesame as well as inclusive tourism. Key focus is on finding new export opportunities, product diversification, improved value addition, quality enhancement and strengthened sector support institutions.

The second Tier 2 project on "Trade Facilitation through increased logistics infrastructure and services at the Banjul International Airport" was approved by the EIF Board in April 2013. The project's objective is to promote trade facilitation and reinforce logistics infrastructure and services at Banjul International Airport through improved institutional arrangements, building human capacity and providing support services to ensure transparent, secured and competitive airport services that are available to exporters and smallholder businesses. The project will contribute to improved livelihoods in the tourism, horticulture and fisheries export sub sectors, through reduction in cargo handling time and increase in cargo handling capacity.

Main progresses to date

Tier 1 Project

Trade has been mainstreamed into the Programme for Accelerated Growth and Employment (PAGE 2012-2015), which succeeded the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper II (PRSP II). Specifically, trade is included in PAGE Pillar 1 (Accelerating and Sustaining Economic Growth) with key focus areas on trade facilitation, improvement of the investment climate and quality control systems, and in sub‑Pillar 3 (Improving Competitiveness). These Pillars have been harmonized with the National Trade Policy (NTP) and the MTP to ensure a consistent strategic focus throughout the Government agenda. Through the PAGE, the Government envisions an open and liberal trading environment in order to better integrate The Gambia into the global economy and transform the country into a transit hub and a gateway to the region.

Moreover, key sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, tourism, transport and services have also incorporated trade into sector programmes and budgets.

The NES, the NTP and the MTP were elaborated with support from the EIF NIU and validated in 2012 to improve the business environment, trade facilitation and quality control, and to attract private investment in the productive sectors for an export‑led growth. Additionally, the AfT Ministerial Committee was established with support from the EIF NIU to coordinate and mobilize AfT resources for the implementation of trade‑related policies and activities in the PAGE, DTIS, NES, NTP and MTP.

Through the AfT Ministerial Committee, the National Task Force and other thematic groups, the EIF Programme is supporting the implementation of the NTP and the trade component of PAGE which corresponds to 13 strategic areas. The business sector thematic group is led by Ministry of Trade, Industries and Employment (MOTIE).

The Mainstreaming Trade and Trade‑Related Issues Committee or the National Trade Negotiations Committee and the NSC, which includes the Government and the private sector, serve as a platform for the public‑private sector dialogue on trade and trade mainstreaming issues, and support the implementation of DTIS Action Matrix priorities.

On the government-donor coordination, the National Ministerial Committee (NMC) on AfT was set up in 2011 to serve as a platform for Government-donor consultations on trade. The EIF NIU is providing support to annual meetings of the NMC and the donor round table. As of September 2012, Turkey undertook the role of EIF Donor Facilitator.

The Gambia's DTIS Update (DTISU) was completed by UNCTAD as the Main Implementing Entity (MIE) and validated in January 2013. Based on suggestions from stakeholders at the validation workshop, it was revised and finalized in April 2013. The 2013 DTISU focused on measures to strengthen The Gambia's participation in regional and global markets through creating the foundation for improved value addition and processing in key sectors of the economy such as fisheries, aquaculture, agriculture, transportation, telecommunication and tourism.

As part of the DTISU process, a joint study was published by UNCTAD and EIF focused on the role of women in the fisheries sector in The Gambia. The Joint Study, "The Fisheries Sector in The Gambia: Trade, Value Addition and Social Inclusiveness, with a Focus on Women", shows that trade policies in Least Developed Countries (LDCs) have to be inclusive in addressing gender inequalities if they are to reduce poverty. The study was launched on 6 March 2014, ahead of the International Women's Day celebrations on 8 March 2014.

Under the EIF Phase 1 Tier 1 project, fourteen sub‑grants were funded and implemented by different line Ministries and stakeholders, supervised by the EIF NIU. These small sub‑grant programmes aimed at building trade‑related capacities and improving productivity in prioritized areas identified in the DTIS Action Matrix. Main sub‑grants include, among others, strengthening the Fisheries Department on the Strategic Fisheries Action Plan; strengthening the Association of Gambian Horticultural Producers and Exporters; The Gambia Ports Authority; the National Agricultural Research Institute; the National Cashew Farmers Association; the National Women Farmers Association; the Association of Small Enterprises in Tourism and Gambia is Good; the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) Association; and provision of mid‑and annual trade statistics.

A communications strategy is under implementation to strengthen the engagement of stakeholders and partners in project implementation and monitoring. The communication strategy is also being used to promote trade mainstreaming and to engage different stakeholders in delivering the programme with a particular focus on the Tier 2 projects on cashew nuts, ground nuts and sesame, and on trade facilitation.

On 19 June 2014, The Gambia hosted the 17th Session of the EIF Board Meeting, the first EIF Board Meeting to take place in an LDC. The Board Meeting helped EIF Board Members to witness the EIF in action on the ground and to increase their knowledge on projects under implementation as well as facilitate their interaction with the EIF national stakeholders.

Tier 2 Projects

The Tier 2 project, SCEDP was approved and has been under implementation since June 2012. The SCEDP supports the agri-sector in cashew nuts, groundnuts and sesame to increase sales by 3 per cent based around new export opportunities, product diversification, improved value addition, quality enhancement and strengthened sector support institutions. This will in turn contribute to increasing the revenues of farmers, producers and exporters of the agricultural products.

The project interventions consist of sector‑specific support for cashew nuts, groundnuts and sesame and cross-cutting assistance in the areas of trade information and inclusive tourism. Project interventions and outputs include:

  • Sectoral strategies (sesame, cashew nut and ground nut) have been formulated and are being implemented.
  • Quality of sector products has been enhanced and market opportunities in domestic and international markets are being created.
  • Accurate and up-to-date trade information is being provided by MOTIE.
  • A comprehensive feasibility study with an action plan for inclusive tourism in The Gambia has been conducted and validated and a project on "Inclusive tourism development in The Gambia” has been developed.
  • The Gambia Standards Bureau has developed and published the first 10 national standards, including one on groundnuts and another one on general principles of food hygiene. Draft regulations on control of pre-packages have been developed and list of equipment recommended for the Weights and Measures Department.
  • 44 inspectors have been trained in quality control techniques for groundnuts. Aflatoxin monitoring equipment was also provided to selected collection points.
  • 15 Master Trainers (5 per sector) and 120 core trainers (40 per sector) have been trained. 20 Farmer Field Schools per sector have been set up. A set of training materials was developed and published, including Core Training manuals, Training manual for Master Trainers, Good Agricultural Practices for the production of high quality Groundnut, Sesame, Cashew; Quality Assurance and Food Safety in Groundnut, Sesame and Cashew.
  • The development of The Gambia Trade Information Portal was completed and relevant contents have been uploaded. Company profile compilation form has also been developed.
  • A total of 27 officials from 19 different Government ministries and agencies, the Chamber of Commerce and sector associations have been trained and their skills have been enhanced in market research and analysis leading to the development of Market Pointers.
  • MOTIE trade information staff have been coached, improving their skills in trade information processing and management.
  • The Gambia Trade Information Network has been officially established among 20 relevant private and public sector institutions through the signing of the Protocol of Cooperation, already developed for formalizing the Network. As part of promoting trade information exchange, computers have been provided to seven key cooperating institutions of The Gambia Trade Information Network.
  • With ITC support, The Gambia has also developed a separate communications strategy for the Tier 2 nuts project to raise awareness on benefits of cashew nuts as a new crop and to ensure that project benefits are widely spread out to beneficiaries. A number of communication activities have also been undertaken aimed at raising awareness of this project and the programme in-country, including quarterly newsletters for SCEDP and dissemination of publicity material to key stakeholders, including The Gambia Trading Stories film chapter.

Another Tier 2 project was approved in April 2013 aimed at improving trade facilitation and increased logistics infrastructure and services at the Banjul International Airport. The project objectives are being implemented through improved institutional arrangements, building human capacity and providing support services to ensure that transparent, secured and competitive airport services are available to traders. A 50% reduction in air cargo handling time and an increase in the capacity of handling diverse cargo is to be achieved through training on IATA Cargo Management, Air Cargo Operations, Cargo Accident Investigation and Prevention and Cargo Revenue Management.

The project is also enabling the Banjul International Airport to meet international safety and security standards in handling cargo and passenger travel, thereby increasing the number of airlines serving and accepting cargo from The Gambia. To increase international exports from SMEs, 100 SMEs are to be trained as a pilot group in accessing the improved airport facilities.


The second phase of The Gambia's Tier 1 project, is being implemented with a focus on several actions, including:

  • Reviewing the MTP (2013-2016) to include DTISU priorities.
  • Implementing the DTISU Action Matrix (2013) and the priority activities of the PAGE and the MTP.
  • Updating and implementing the trade strategy in a satisfactory manner.
  • Further mainstreaming and implementing trade in key sector programmes (tourism, transport, agriculture, fisheries, legal, finance and communications).
  • Strengthening public‑private consultation on a yearly basis.
  • Establishing a semi‑annual Government‑donor forum on trade and a putting a full AfT coordination mechanism in place.
  • Elaborating a consolidated capacity‑building plan for MOTIE, NSC members and other stakeholders in the areas of project management, trade mainstreaming, trade policy development and negotiation as well as cross‑cutting issues.
  • Transforming the NIU into a Project Implementation Unit and integrating it into the main functions of MOTIE.
  • Strengthening the NSC as a national platform for the trade policy dialogue and AfT coordination with the participation of four stakeholder groups.
  • Carrying out the mid-term evaluation of the SCEDP Tier 2 project.
  • Effectively implementing The Gambia airport Trade Facilitation Tier 2 project.
Outcome 1: Sufficient Institutional and management capacity built in EIF countries to formulate and implement Trade related strategies & implementation plans
Outcome IndicatorBaseline2013201420152016
O1.1 Tier 1 ' Support to NIAs' project completed or under implementationYesYes
O1.2 EIF Country with complete, up-to-date validated DTIS Action MatricesYesYes
O1.3 Level of capacity of NIU to perform fiduciary programme management for Tier 1 project32
O1.4 Country with up-to date trade strategiesNoYes
O1.5 Country with quality trade strategyN/A1
O1.6 Country with quality trade strategy implementedN/A3
Outcome 2: EIF countries mainstream trade into their national development strategies and plans
Outcome IndicatorBaseline2013201420152016
O2.1 Trade in PRSP and/or National development strategies21
O2.2 Existence of productive sector strategies integrating the trade dimensionYesYes
O2.3 Functioning public/private consultation mechanism21
Outcome 3: Coordinated delivery of trade related resources (funding, TA etc.) by donors & implementing agencies to implement country priorities following adoption of DTIS Action Matrix
Outcome IndicatorBaseline2013201420152016
O3.1 Availability of an annual rolling implementation overview integrating all trade-related government & donor-supported activities (including gender & environment)NoYes
O3.2 Frequency of government and donor consultations on trade-related mattersN/A1
O3.3 UN CEB Cluster activities based on DTIS Matrix priorities in EIF CountriesYesYes
O3.4 Country with joint donor initiatives in the trade area (such as need assessment; strategy formulations; programming; pooled funding; M&E; etc.)NoYes
Outcome 4: EIF Countries secure resources in support of initiatives that address DTIS Action Matrix priorities
Outcome IndicatorBaseline2013201420152016
O4.1 Country with implementation plan integrating DTIS/Action Matrix priorities and indicating financing needs to be met through ODAN/A1
O4.2 Country where a Government budget exists for implementation of its trade strategyNoYes
O4.4 Number of projects funded by donors related to the DTIS Action Matrix14
O4.4.1 Amount of projects funded by donors related to the DTIS Action Matrix (Million USD)1.242.45

The EIF and partners have worked to raise The Gambia's standard of living especially for the rural communities, with support going to new drought resistant crops such as cashew and sesame and making market connections for farmers. These home-grown agricultural produce have also been catalytic in supporting the growing tourism sector in The Gambia, with increased locally grown produce from Gambian farmers being sold to hotels and restaurants.

Additionally, 450 farmers have also been trained on pest management practices and horticultural production techniques. The EIF is also supporting The Gambia Competition Commission to create a level trading field for all businesses and to ensure that farmers, producers, traders and entrepreneurs from the grassroots up also thrive in their businesses.

DTIS Update

Starting date / End date
Approved Budget
Board Approval Date
Expenditure Reported
MOU Approval Date
MOU Expiry Date

NIA Support (T1 Phase 1 and 2)

Starting date / End date
Approved Budget
Board Approval Date
Expenditure Reported
MOU Approval Date
MOU Expiry Date


Starting date / End date
Approved Budget
Board Approval Date
Expenditure Reported
MOU Approval Date
MOU Expiry Date

Sector Competitiveness and Export Diversification Project (SCEDP)

Starting date / End date
Approved Budget
Board Approval Date
Expenditure Reported
MOU Approval Date
MOU Expiry Date

Trade Facilitation Through Increased Logistics Infrastructure and Services at the Banjul International Airport)

Starting date / End date
Approved Budget
Board Approval Date
Expenditure Reported
MOU Approval Date
MOU Expiry Date
Posted: 11/06/2014

Addressing the Trade Facilitation Agreement in the context of regional trade integration and transit trade:
Identifying a possible role for the Enhanced Integrated Framework

 Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Banjul, Gambia

08:00 - 9:00     Registration

Opening Session

09:00 - 09:10               Welcome statement by His Excellency, Mr. Minelik Alemu Getahun, Ambassador of Ethiopia, Chairman of EIF

09.10 - 09:20               Opening statement: Mr. Taffere Tesfachew, Director, UNCTAD Division for Africa, Least Developed Countries and Special Programmes (ALDC)

09:20 - 09.30               Opening statement: Mr. Ratnakar Adhikari, Executive Director, EIF Executive Secretariat           

09:30 - 09:40               Opening remarks by the representative of the Ministry of Trade of the Gambia

09:40: - 10:00             Coffee Break

Item 1:                  Setting the stage? 

Key challenges and implications for regional integration in West Africa                      

This session will review the transit and trade-facilitation related problems that are identified as key challenges during the DTIS update of selected West African countries and their implications for regional integration and regional trade. This will set the basis for further discussions on the role of EIF in the implementation of the recent trade facilitation agreement.  

Moderator:      Representative of the Gambian government

10:00 - 10:20               Identifying Trade facilitation and transit issues in the DTIS updating process

Stefano Inama, UNCTAD

10.20 - 10:40               Transit issues in the Trade facilitation agreement

                                    Annet Blank ,Counsellor WTO

10:40 - 11:00               The regional instrument for transit and the Interstate Road Transport Agreement: A regional viewpoint


11:00 - 11:20               A practitioner’s viewpoint

                                    Private sector representative

11:20 - 13:00               Interactive discussions

13:00 - 14.30               Lunch break

Item 2:                        Country experiences

Issues and challenges in regional integration and Trade facilitation: Lessons learned from the DTIS updating             

This session is intended to provide detailed information - from a national perspective - on the challenges identified in recent DTIS updates with a focus on trade facilitation and regional trade.

Moderator:                  Mr. Ashish Shah, Director, Division of Country Programmes – International Trade Center

14:30 - 14:50              The Senegalese experience: DTIS updating process on trade facilitation and transit trade

                                    EIF Focal point or coordinator

                                    Representative from Senegal Customs  

14:50 - 15:10              The Gambian experience: DTIS updating process on trade facilitation and transit trade

                                    EIF Focal point or coordinator

                                    Representative from Gambia Customs  

15:10 -15:30               The Malian perspective: trade facilitation, transit trade and the role of DTIS process

                                    Focal point or coordinator

                                    Representative from Mali Customs  

15:30 - 16:00              Interactive discussions and comments

Moderator:                 Mrs. Luisa Bernal, UNDP office, Geneva

16:00 - 16:20              The Nigerien perspective: trade facilitation, transit trade and the DTIS process

                                    EIF Focal point or Coordinator

                                    Representative from Niger Customs  

16:20 - 16:40              The Burkina Faso DTIS action matrix: issues on trade facilitation and transit trade

                                    Focal point or coordinator

                                    Representative from Burkina Faso Customs  

16:40 – 17:00              Coffee Break

Closing Session


Item 3:            Round table: Reflections on possible contributions of EIF to the implementation of the recent Trade Facilitation Agreement and implications for regional trade and integration.

This session will explore the various options and modalities on how the EIF could develop mechanisms to assist in the implementation of  initiatives on trade facilitation, including those  identified in the action matrices of the respective countries.


Moderator:                  Mr. Ratnakar Adhikari, EIF Executive Director

17:00 -18:00                Interactive discussions     

  •          UNCTAD
  •          Donors
  •          Country representatives  
  •          Private sector representatives
  •          Mr. Ashish Shah, Director, Division of Country Programmes – International Trade Center
  •          Mrs. Luisa Bernal, UNDP office, Geneva.



Reception hosted by UNCTAD

Posted: 06/05/2014

The Gambia: UNCTAD-EIF Study encourages inclusive trade policies in the fisheries sector

On 6th March 2014, UNCTAD and EIF published a report of a joint Study, The Fisheries Sector in The Gambia: Trade, Value Addition and Social Inclusiveness, with a Focus on Womenahead of the International Women’s Day celebrations on 8 March 2014. In marking this event, the Joint Study shows that trade policies in Least Developed Countries (LDCs) have to be inclusive in addressing gender inequalities if they are to reduce poverty.

The UNCTAD-EIF report, written against the background of efforts to achieve the third Millennium Development Goal to promote gender equality and empower women, shows that women for whom fish provide a livelihood often lose out to men working in the same sector. This is reflected in the structure of The Gambia’s fishing and fish processing sector, where women are mainly concentrated in the small-scale, local trading and processing of fish, while men predominately work in the large-scale, commercial and export market.

Moreover, as the target date of the Millennium Development Goals in 2015 draws closer, it is clear that a lot more remains to be done, and it has been suggested that the post­-2015 agenda should address all kinds of inequalities in a more substantive way.

The report forms part of the support that UNCTAD provided to The Gambia for the update of its Diagnostic Trade Integration Study and was carried out under part of the EIF Tier 1 project process.

“One challenge is that social issues are addressed in a different framework than economic issues and no sufficient synergies are established between the two,” Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD said. “For example, strategies for social protection should be closely linked to policies on employment, education and training. Due consideration should be given to changes in employment and welfare brought about by international trade. While there are ‘winners’ from trade liberalization, there are also ‘losers’, and their needs must also be addressed,” Dr. Kituyi added.

In the report, UNCTAD and EIF call for domestic, sub-regional and international perspectives to be carefully assessed in the light of food security, poverty alleviation and social inclusiveness.

"In The Gambia, 80 per cent of fish processors and 50 per cent of small-scale fish traders are women. Through its Diagnostic Trade Integration Study Update, The Gambia has prioritized the need to build skills of women in income-generating activities," said Mr. Ratnakar Adhikari, Executive Director of the Executive Secretariat for the EIF. "Together with the Government, we are strongly supporting a gender balanced Trade Facilitation project which aims to facilitate air cargo export of fresh horticulture and fishery products. We are also supporting the Government to leverage resources from development partners to build a sustainable and inclusive eco-friendly fishing model that puts focus on sharpening women's skills and women empowerment," Mr. Adhikari added.

As the study of The Gambia’s fisheries shows, putting in place coherent trade, infrastructure and social policies may be instrumental in achieving inclusive development and in reducing inequalities, including those based on gender. The gender perspective is key to bringing issues of sustainability and inclusion to the forefront of analysis, the study concludes.

Posted: 11/02/2014

Trading Stories, the Book, accompanies the film series to show just how trade is about acting local to go global in eight of the poorest countries worldwide.

Trading Stories, the Book, accompanies the film series to show just how trade is about acting local to go global in eight of the poorest countries worldwide. It’s a journey that tracks how, with the support of the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) and Aid for Trade, realities are changing on the ground. Stronger trade roadmaps are being developed, partners are coming together to build the trade agenda and projects to overcome trade barriers are being rolled out. Now, it’s over to you to share the stories, get engaged in the debate and be part of the next chapter that’s still to be written on our global trade connections.

Click here to access the Book

Written by Elena Immambocus and Justine Namara


Photographs © Elena Immambocus and Justine Namara


Year 2013

Focal Point

Ms. Naffie BARRY
Permanent Secretary
Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment (MOTIE)
Independent Drive
Banjul, Gambia, The
Tel: +220 422 88 68

NIU Coordinator

Mr. Bai Ibrahim JOBE
Project Coordinator
Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment
Independent Drive
Banjul, Gambia, The
Tel: +220 420 11 05


Mr. Modou TOURAY
Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF), Programme Officer
Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment
Independent Drive
Banjul, Gambia, The
Tel: +220 420 11 03

Donor Facilitator

Mr. Ergin SONER
Embassy of Turkey
Banjul, Gambia, The
Tel: +220 441 06 52

UNDP Contact

The Gambia Country Office, Deputy Resident Representative
Un House, 5 Kofi Annan Street, Cape Point, P.O.Box 553
Banjul, Gambia, The
Tel: +220 449 4744
Ms. Abdou TOURAY
UNDP The Gambia, Programme Specialist
Un House, 5 Kofi Annan Street, Cape Point, P.O.Box 553
Banjul, Gambia, The
Tel: +220 44 947 60


Mr. Abdoulie JAMMEH
Trade, Director of Trade
Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment
Independence Drive
Banjul, Gambia, The
Tel: +220 998 83 16
EIF Trade Impact Stories
EIF Calendar 2015: THE EIF AND POST - 2015
The Gambia EIF Newsletter Sept-Dec 2014
The Gambia Trading Stories
Country Case Studies - EIF TFM Review
Trade, Gender and the Post-2015 Development Agenda
The Gambia SCEDP Newsletter December – February, 2014
The Fisheries Sector in the Gambia: Trade, Value Addition and Social Inclusiveness, with a Focus on Women
The Gambia SCEDP Newsletter September-December 2013
The ripple effect: How small investments have yielded bigger sustainable rewards in The Gambia
THE GAMBIA: Trade and jobs
THE GAMBIA: Trade and ensuring access and supply to modern energy for building livelihoods
Request for Bids for Construction Services: The Gambia Trade Facilitation Project
EIF Board Meeting in The Gambia, 19 June 2014