Mr. Mambury Njie, the Gambia's Finance and Economic Affairs Minister said country's Fisheries Sector, has enormous potential to contribute to the economic development of The Gambia through employment creation, poverty reduction and foreign exchange earnings.
Minister Njie informed Lawmakers during the ongoing budget session.
He also explained that the Fisheries Sector, with support from the European Union (EU) has initiated the process of strengthening community-based fisher-folk organizations to enhance effective participation in fisheries co-management process.
He said: "The Department of Fisheries has handed over 14 fishing boats with outboard engines to 10 fishing communities, a trend which will continue through 2021 until more communities benefit from this scheme. The Government will continue to address the problems of fish shortage, unemployment, and illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing with coastal and inland fishing communities".
He stated that in the area of maritime surveillance, the Government will continue to strengthen cooperation in the area of monitoring, control and surveillance of the country's territorial waters to curb and deter illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
He said: "The National Fisheries Monitoring Centre will be equipped with vital equipment including training to ensure effective monitoring and surveillance".
He decried that Climate change continues to pose serious threats to social stability and economic development, and that the Project for strengthening The Gambia's Climate Change Early Warning Systems Phase II, continues to undertake the capacity building of local communities on climate change early warning systems.
He underscored: "The provision of timely and accurate information about the impending weather is an effective tool to safeguarding life and property".
"The Water Resources Department in collaboration with Climate Smart Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Development Project is providing safe and quality drinking water to the rural people. The department has also collaborated with UNICEF to provide safe drinking water and basic sanitary facilities to schools and health facilities across the country".
He stressed that to solve the digital address mapping challenges in the country, the Ministry in collaboration with Google Plus is set to implement the pilot phase of the Google Plus Codes Initiative, which will provide a digital street addressing system in the City of Banjul. This initiative will be rolled out to other regions over time, he added.
He unveiled: "The Ministry has developed the e-Gambia Power Project Proposal to help achieve the last mile connectivity, which is critical in ensuring access to quality and affordable broadband internet across the country".
He added: "The Project intends to enhance the country's digitalization by leveraging on existing infrastructure to expand ICT services that will provide Quadruple Play Services nationwide. This will provide broadband internet, IP enabled smart electricity meters, as well as maximize revenue for public and private sector entities".