5 April 2012

Gambia: TAP Mission Team Arrives

A three-man team from the Tower Plane Advance Projects (TAP) based in Spain has recently arrived in the country for a five-day working visit to assess GAWFA's procedures to adopt technological tools for the creation of softwares and telecommunication networks of the new GAWFA Mobile Banking project.

The Mobile Banking project is supported by the Spanish Cooperation Agency of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Spain.

Speaking to the Daily Observer Tuesday at the GAWFA head office along Jimpex Road in Kanifing, Alfredo Gadea of the Spanish Cooperation Agency responsible for the cooperation's affairs in The Gambia, said the Agency has supported so many projects in the country.

He said the mandate of the Spanish Cooperation Agency is to fight poverty, and that they have approved the Mobile Banking project for GAWFA and it will be closely working with a private Spanish company called TAP to develop a mobile banking system.

The system, Gadea stated is aimed at improving the management of micro-finance with a final purpose to reach rural Gambian women to support them with loans and micro-finance credit. He disclosed that Gadea disclosed that the project will last for a period of 18 months, and that it is also meant to improve institutional capacity of the rural women GAWFA is targeting.

For his part, Antoni Lopez Burruezo, technical manager of the project, said the purpose of the visit of the TAP delegation is to identify the needs of GAWFA in terms of management; such as the registration of the beneficiaries, loan approvals and loan disbursement. He said that all these procedures have to be adopted to the new technological system.

According to him, the delegation will also assess the project in the country in terms of telecommunication network coverage and internet service provision.

Juan Carlos Sanchez, manager of the Mobile Banking project, said they would study the operational system and the hosting of the hardware, noting that he will be responsible for the general coordination of the project.

For her part, Dr Oley Njie-Mbye, chief executive officer of GAWFA, explained that they got the approval of the project this month from the Spanish Cooperation Agency and expressed optimism that the technology will help in terms of efficiency and productivity and also help to reduce fraud. Dr. Njie went on to explain that the project would strengthen the capacity of her staff and the rural women.

She then highlighted the numerous achievements registered by GAWFA, while thanking the Spanish Cooperation Agency for their support. Ebrima Gano, Operations manager of GAWFA also expressed similar sentiments.

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