By Alhagie FS Sora
Members of the Gambia Bankers Association (GBA) on Tuesday, 16 September, 2014 at the Ocean Bay Hotel in Bakau, held a validation workshop on the Chartered Institute of Bankers of the Gambia (CIBG) Bill 2014.
In his welcoming remark, Mr. Mamour Malick Jagne, Executive Secretary of GBA and Registrar of IBG, recalled that what is today called the Gambia Bankers Association has started years ago when there were only three or four banks in the Gambia with their managing directors at the time meeting over lunch periodically to share ideas on the economy, the foreign exchange market, the tourism industry and other areas of common interest. He said “over time, the number of bankers in the country increases rapidly in a relatively short period of time and that the economy became more complex, financial intermediaries deepened and the relationship between the customers and the banks changed in character as competition between the banks grew in intensity.”
He added that the outstanding growth in the Gambian banking industry had overstretched the available human capacity in the financial sector.
Mr. Jagne said under the circumstance, the managing directors considered that banks should continue to compete but that they should also create a non profit making body to be called the Gambia Bankers Association, hence on the 27th February, 2002 the Registrar General at the Attorney General’s Chambers issued them with the certificate of incorporation “No.112/2002.’’
The GBA Executive Director said the step they are about to take is a logical follow up on the commitment of managing directors to train their staff to international standard when this Bill becomes an Act of the National Assembly, adding that Gambians will no longer need to travel overseas to study to become chartered bankers and that students in the sub-region can be attracted to come to the Gambia to undergo this course.
Mr. Pa Macoumba Njie, the President of the Gambia Bankers Association and also the Managing Director of Trust Bank Gambia Ltd. (TBL), said the institute is the trading arm of the bankers association of the Gambia and was established in 2010 to provide training in banking and finance in line with international standards and to determine standard knowledge skills to be obtained by persons seeking to become members of the banking profession. In order to meet these objectives, he added, an MOU was signed on 17 January 2011 with the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN). He said the partnership formally mandates the Institute to serve as an examination center and to also help the institution draw from CIBN experience to provide quality education in banking and finance.
“The Gambia with only twelve banks operating in the industry will continue to need the professionals,” said the GBA President.
Mr. Njie said “the institute is also working towards the amendment of the legal status as a Chartered Institute. The draft bill presented to you was prepared by the legal Adviser of GBA and a board member of IBG, Mr. Omar F, Mbai. This draft was rounded for proper checking and went through all the stakeholders, including the Central Bank of The Gambia, the University of The Gambia, Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, National Training Authority (NTA), the managing directors of all the commercial banks and members of the trustee of the Institute of the Bankers of the Gambia.”
He concluded that one of the main objectives of GBA is to develop it into a fully fledged chartered institute for bankers and set it to a level where it will become world class professional training body and a national center for bankers in the Gambia and overseas.
Mr. Bernard James Manneh, head of the membership and education department at IBG, thanked the Governor of the Central Bank of the Gambia, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, the Vice Chancellor of the University of The Gambia, permanent secretaries, the GBA President and the chairman of board of trustees of IBG for their support to both the Association and Institute. He also thanked Mr. Mamour Malick Jange, the Registrar of the Institute for his open door policy and ability to provide the necessary and appropriate guidance on how and what to do at every giving stage.