- Backed by a strong rebound in agricultural output and the continued growth in the services and construction sectors, Gambian economy is expected to record a 6.5% growth this year, Central Bank figures indicated.
The governor of the Central Bank Bamba Saho said during the first half of the year, money supply grew by 8.5%, compared to 12.9% the previous year.
Mr. Saho said preliminary data on the execution of the government budget showed a decline in total revenue and grants during the first half of 2008. This declined to D1.9 billion or 3.6%.
"The decline is attributed to the lower than projected tax and non-tax revenue. Total expenditure and net lending increased to D2.0 billion, or 13.6% compared to the first half of 2007. The overall budget balance [including grants] on commitment basis was a deficit of D113.0 million, or 1.3% of GDP. Excluding grants, the deficit widened to D164.4 million, or 1.8% of GDP," the governor told a news conference in the capital Banjul.
Governor Saho said the inter-bank foreign exchange market continues to rise as evidenced by the high volume of transactions measured by aggregate sales and purchases of foreign currency, increased to $1.7 billion at end-July 2008, or 13.3% from the previous year.
"The banking system recorded significant asset and deposit growth as well as a strong capital base," he said, adding that the total assets of the banking industry increased to D11.3 billion or 12.2% from end-June 2007. Return on assets declined from 2.1% in March 2008 to 1.5% at end-June.
"From end-December 2007 to July 2008, the Dalasi strengthened by 7.1%, 4.9%, 1.9% and 1.5% against the US Dollar, Pound Sterling, Euro and CFA Franc respectively."
However, the local currency slightly depreciated against major international currencies in June and July.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.