See also:
» 22.05.2009 - Gambia let down by donors, tourists
» 23.04.2009 - Madrid and Gambia seek to expand trade relations
» 19.11.2008 - Gambia rights violations seen as investor risk
» 05.09.2008 - British engineer jumps Gambian jurisdiction
» 01.09.2008 - Gambia attains 6.5% economic growth
» 25.08.2008 - Tourist paedophile nabbed in Gambia
» 31.07.2008 - Spain deports more Gambian migrants
» 04.07.2008 - Gambia leader validates Mugabe's re-election

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Gambia increases salaries

afrol News, 3 January - Gambian civil servants [undoubtedly among Africa's least paid] are celebrating a 20% surprise salary increase announced by President Yahya Jammeh.

Civil servants had waited too long for a salary increase and their hopes were dashed when the matter was not addressed in the last budget speech in December.

In a New Year's message to the nation, Gambian President said the increase was effective on 1 January 2008.

Jammeh was upbeat that his country's economy would maintain the "tremendous success" it has attained in 2007.

“We have registered a GDP growth rate of 7%, built around strong and well-managed public finances and a sound monetary policy that has resulted in low inflation, and enhanced the international reserve situation of the country," he said.

Jammeh described The Gambia's approval for the cancellation of HIPC and G8 Mulltilateral Debt Relief Initiative as "an important economic development."

He said the "resources that will be released from this commendable achievement will now be invested in the social sectors and other priority areas of the economy in 2008 and beyond.

"This will include plans that are well advanced to address the sustainable development and retention of capacity in public administration through reforms in pay policy, pension, human resource development, and related capacity retention programs."

Gambian leader expressed his government's resolve to contribute to the effective functioning of the civil service and efficient dispensation of public administration.

Jammeh also announced that with effect from 2009, salary increment will be worked out on the basis of the Comprehensive Civil Services Reform Program Study expected to be completed soon.

“For 2008, government will continue to build on the macro economic gains achieved in 2007. Public financial management and fiscal discipline will continue to be strengthened, and monetary policy will be further tightened to contain inflation, and create employment.

“Considerable budgetary resources have already been earmarked for development of the social sectors to reduce poverty, and attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and also the goals of vision 2020."

But the leader of the main opposition United Democratic Party (UDP), Lawyer Ousainou Darboe, said Jammeh's "misguided economic policies has continued to wreck havoc on the populations."

“The economic stagnation that has been the result of the misguided policies of this government has continued to wreak havoc on the population," the UDP leader said in his New Year's speech.

"Prices of basic commodities rise daily despite the apparent fall in the exchange rates of all foreign currencies vis a vis the Dalasi. The continued inability of government to make satisfactory arrangements for the equitable and timely purchase of the groundnut produce, the lack of other production avenues for farmers, the non existence of employment opportunities, have all impoverished the country and make life extremely difficult for the average Gambian."

Darboe was not at ease that the last approved budget has shown significant increase in government expenditure in Defence and the Office of the President at the detriment of Health and Education.

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