Image: My Gambia
The Gambia is one of West Africa’s smaller countries but without a doubt one of the most attractive destinations in the region. Its strategic and easily accessible location on the Atlantic Ocean and proximity to Europe has made it one of the most popular tourist destinations in West Africa. The tourism sector is particularly well developed and continues to benefit from strong private sector investment in eco-tourism and a wide variety of beach-front hotels. But The Gambia is far more than just a tourism destination. In recent years Gambian authorities have made a concerted effort to continue improving the investment climate and attract higher levels of private sector FDI into a broad spectrum of industries including agriculture, finance, infrastructure, transportation and logistics, and renewable energy. World-class discoveries that have taken place in offshore waters of Senegal and Mauritania have generated a great deal of interest in developing The Gambia’s energy sector.
Over the past decade, The Gambia has adopted a policy of economic diversification beyond tourism, agriculture and fisheries and is now making a far more concerted effort to accelerate the development of other sectors that will shape the country´s development in the near future such as renewable energy and the rise of a still small, but steadily burgeoning oil and gas industry. Thanks to the world-class discoveries that took place in the MSGBC Basin countries of Senegal, and Mauritania from 2014-2017, there has been renewed interest from investors in exploring the potential of The Gambia´s energy sector. A number of firms are currently conducting 2D and 3D seismic surveys to potentially unlock oil and gas reserves. The prospects going forward are good because The Gambia is one of the least explored countries in the MSGBC Basin. The Gambia National Petroleum Company (GNPC) and the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum of The Gambia, headed by H.E. Minister Fafa Sanyang, are actively promoting investment in the country’s energy sector. A high-level delegation from The Gambia will be participating in MSGBC Oil, Gas, & Power taking place in Dakar, December 13-14th.
Stable Business Climate
In recent years Gambian authorities have made progressive improvements to the investment climate in order to decrease bureaucracy and help attract investment into sectors as diverse as tourism, services, agriculture, fisheries, infrastructure and energy. The Gambia has a labor force that is both semi-skilled and skilled, and which is substantially less expensive than in many other West-African countries, helping lower operational costs for foreign businesses.
Furthermore, investors profit from a liberal, market-based economy with sustained fiscal and monetary discipline, flexible exchange rates, and reliable laws. Starting a business in The Gambia is substantially less complicated than in many other sub-Saharan African countries. Furthermore, The Gambia’s membership of the Economic Community of West African States trading bloc ensures easy market access to over 300 million people.
The Gambia is often described as one of West Africa’s best kept secrets. The ‘smiling coast of West Africa’ has a been popular with British tourists in particular for many years since the 1960s. However, as the MSGBC region sees an upsurge in investment and economic activity due to recent oil and gas discoveries in neighboring countries, The Gambia is looking to tap into the regional economic boom.
The country is easily accessible by flights from Europe and many other cities in sub-Saharan Africa. Banjul International Airport can handle up to one million passengers per year and has open skies agreements in place with the United States and numerous EU countries. There are direct flights from Banjul and Brussels, as well as easy connections to major world destinations such as the U.S., Germany, Japan, and South Africa, via Dakar, the Senegalese capital which is only a 20-25-minute flight away from Banjul.
The Gambia’s sunny climate has long been a major drew as the country has practically uninterrupted sunshine, year-round. From November to June, holiday makers can experience average maximum temperatures in the low 30s. Accordingly, The Gambia is an outstanding winter sun destination that can be enjoyed from its many beachfront hotels.
Visitors to The Gambia will enjoy a relaxed, laid-back pace of life. The capital city of Banjul is not overly congested, it is very safe and for visitors coming from anglophone countries, the official language is English and it is also on the same time zone as the United Kingdom, so jet-lag is not a concern for travelers from the U.K. or Europe. Also, in contrast to other holiday destinations like the Southern Mediterranean or the Canary Islands, in The Gambia one will not have to endure highly congested beaches and crowded resorts. Visitors will find that it is not at all unusual to have the beach to oneself year-round.
The Gambia has everything from 5-star luxury hotels to more moderately priced 2-star eco-lodges located on The Gambia River. This diversity in the range of places to stay has long been a competitive advantage of The Gambia´s tourism industry. In addition, there is the particularly friendly and hospitable nature of the Gambian people.
MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power 2021 will see the strong participation of official delegations from many sub-Saharan African countries, in particular those from the MSGBC sedimentary basin (Mauritania, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea Bissau and Guinea Conakry), as well as other oil- producing countries from West Africa and North Africa, alongside investment partners from Europe, the Middle East, North America and Asia.
To find out more information regarding speaker or sponsorship opportunities at the MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power 2021, please visit www.msgbc2021.com or contact email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com