By Sailu Bah
The Director General GAMWORKS revealed during his report at their Annual General Meeting on Thursday 29 January 2015, that 30 million Dollars was spent on enhancing value in the groundnut sector project- GCC groundnut project.
Mr. Ebrima Cham Director General of GAMWORKS said the value added in the groundnut sector project, commonly referred to as the GGC groundnut project, is a 30 Million US dollar IDB funded project to modernize, expand and enhance the efficiency of the operations of the Gambia Groundnut Corporation (GGC).
“The components of the project are: improving GGC processing facility; improving groundnut River Transport system; improving groundnut storage and handling infrastructure; groundnut shell waste management; technical assistance for supporting groundnut value chain; improving quality testing systems among others,” he revealed.
He said a tripartite agreement has been signed between the ministry of finance and economic affairs, GGC and GAMWORKS for the implementation of the project. He added that GAMWORK is responsible for implementation and day to day administration of the project.
He also highlighted the status of the project. He explained that the one year delay in project effectiveness and problematic procurement modes in the financing agreements have put additional challenges on an already complex project. He also mentioned some of the achievements in the project – the project steering committee has been constituted and has held its inaugural meeting at GAMWORKS. In addition he said a project technical review committee has been set up for the technical studies component.
During his report presentation Mr. Cham also highlighted the Challenges, Risks and Constraints of his institution.
He said due to the nature of the operation of GAMWORKS, there is always likely to be constraints and risk. He said the challenge is for management to manage the constraints and minimize risks to the agency’s operations.
“The main constraint continues to be the late or non receipt of Gambia government counterpart contribution stipulated in Financing agreements. Recently, the frequent suspension by the Islamic Development Bank Disbursements projects in the Gambia has had a negative impact on project implementation,” he cited.
He also said that the agency does not receive any direct subventions from the government budget, pointing out that GAMWORKS relies entirely on management fees from their DMCs and budget allocations. Challenges faced by management include mobilization of resources to fund the operations of GAMWORKS.
Mr. Cham further said that GAMWORKS is a non profit making agency but basically implement Government projects, adding that, he hopes in the future GAMWORKS will also work towards making profits like other agencies in other countries.