The Gambia’s manufacturing sector continues to be under exploited with limited concentration of interconnected manufacturing companies. The sector consists mainly of medium-sized enterprises located primarily in the urban and peri – urban area. The sector’s share of GDP continues to be low thus forming the basis of increased Government efforts to expand industrial production and development.
Key among GIEPA’s promotional strategies is the value - added Strategy through niche manufacturing in areas where The Gambia has comparative advantages over its immediate competitors in the sub - region. This strategy focuses on the selective clustering of a number of manufacturing options in sectors such as agriculture, food processing, fisheries and horticulture. These sectors have:
- Large accessible international markets particularly within the European Union
- Considerable labor-intensive employment creation potential especially for women in tourism and in rural areas in respect of the agro-industry sector
- Increased foreign exchange generation potential
- Capacity for rapid expansion of the sectors with minimal imported resources
- Under-utilized renewable resources with potential for sustainable development
- Successful operations already in The Gambia (i.e. strategy building on reality) and existing domestic and foreign private sector investment
- Potential for creating added value in an interdependent synergistic manner.
Horticulture (processing and value - adding for fruits and vegetables): for the export and domestic market. Large quantities of these products are usually wasted during peak seasons mainly due to inadequate storage facilities and limited value - adding and processing facilities in the domestic market. However, with the setting up of the Free Export Processing Zone, and The Gambia’s strategic location as a short haul to major markets in the sub region, the horticulture sector offers good export opportunities.
Fisheries: the processing and value adding of the abundant fisheries resources, Jumbo shrimps, lobsters, oysters, and smoked/dry fish offers good investment opportunities. These can be purchased from Gambian fishing companies with adequate storage facilities and reliable supply sources. Potential investors can also invest in the whole value chain from commercial fish catching to processing, packaging and final marketing.
Light Manufacturing and Assembly of High Value for the Export Market using the Free Export Processing Zone: There exist investment opportunities in light pharmaceutical products, cosmetics, packing materials, ceramic tiles and sanitary wares, garments, mineral water and leather shoes. Investment opportunities also exist in bulk importation and reprocessing and repackaging.