Dr. Seeku Jaabi Launches Two Books on SME, Micro-financing

Sarjo Camara-Singateh

Dr. Seeku Jaabi, an employee of the Central Bank of The Gambia, has launched two books on Small and Medium Enterprises Higher Education P.S Barry And Dr. Jaabi, Author ((SMEs) and Micro Financing.

Speaking at the launch ceremony held at the Central Bank conference hall on 28th January 2016, Dr. Jaabi said the first book on ‘SME finance and economic development’ is a case of the Fishing Industry in Uganda and The Gambia and which is an adjusted form of his PhD thesis. “It broadly touched on SME financing and economic development in developing countries. Specifically, it focused on the role of institutions, technological capabilities and policy choices in enhancing enterprise financing, exports and economic development in Uganda and The Gambia,” said the author.

Dr. Jaabi said SMEs financing has attracted much research following financial sector reforms in many developing countries. “Due to the importance of SMEs to the socio­ economic development, they remain high on the policy agenda of developing countries, in particular Sub-Saharan African countries.  SMEs are an engine of growth and a seedbed for industrialisation for most economies, thereby making them a key plank of development policy,” he said.

He noted that several studies on micro, small and medium-sized enterprises have indicated that they constitute over 70% of total employment and over 95% of total operating enterprises in developing countries. He said they need external finance for growth while their exposure to adverse business environment and information asymmetric often proves to be major obstacles to  access credit, adding that this has influence their volatile growth patterns overtime.

“Despite  the  industry’s  importance, it  is paradoxical  that  the  fish  operatives  continue to experience  acute  lack of  access to  formal  external  finance.    Hence, this  book  examines institutional  and supply-side   constraints   facing  fish   production,  and  the   relationship between   technology   and  exports,  and  between  access to  finance,  R&D and  exports  in Uganda and The Gambia,” said the author.

Dr. Jaabi said the primary goals of these books are, first, to examine SMEs financing sources and constraints in developing countries and that secondly, firm and national technological capabilities matter in LDCs’ participation in global trade facilitated by the developmental role of the State.

He said the books  are useful to quite  a number  of users including policy-makers, University students  of economics, innovation and technology, finance and development, researchers, industry  players, financial sector, and all those interested in enterprise  finance  literature in developing countries.

Basiru A. 0. Njai, First Deputy Governor of the Central Bank, said as rightly stated, SME financing has attracted much research following financial sector reforms in many developing countries. “Due to the importance of SMEs to socio-economic development, they remain high on the policy agenda for most economies,” said the deputy CBG governor.

Mr. Njai said research has found out that the acute supply-side constraints associated with technological capabilities, compliance  with sanitary standards, greater financial inclusion  and public  policy  support  limit  most developing countries, Uganda and The Gambia without exception, to participate  and compete in sophisticated global fish market  where  these capabilities  matter. He said the limited value addition  has led to low  industry contributions to  the  economy in terms of export earnings, job creation, food security and other  spillovers.  He noted that several studies have shown that reliance on primary goods does not help boost the export value for economic development unless countries implement industrialisation strategy   by adding value.

Mr. Njai said the study revealed that the differences between industrial and artisanal fisheries brought about contrasting outcomes in fish industry performances in the two countries.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, Dr. Cherno Omar Barry, who launched the two books, said the author did a thorough research to publish these books. He said countries excel in development because of research.

Earlier, in her welcoming remarks, Mrs Fatou Deen- Touray, Deputy Director, Microfinance Department, said Dr. Jaabi has contributed a lot to the development of microfinance in the country owing to his advanced training and vast experience.

Other speakers included Mr. Aboubucarr Khan from Reliance Financial Services who spoke on behalf of the microfinance sector and Mr. Omar Mboob of Trust Bank who spoke on behalf of the banking sector.