US plans to deepen ties with Gambia

US plans to deepen ties with Gambia
Monday, 02 December 2013 ~ OMAR WALLY

The United States charge d'affaires to The Gambia has assured that his country will continue to seek ways to work together with the latter, extend cooperation and deepen ties, saying the two countries have been partners since pre-independence.

Speaking on the topic "the ongoing relationship between The Gambia and USA" during the third annual business dinner, organised in Brufut by the American Chamber of Commerce (Amcham) in The Gambia, Richard Yoneaka assured that they are open for business in the quest to promote economic development.

Yoneaka further assured that his government will continue to send Gambians to the US on international leadership exchange programmes including the prestigious African Women's Entrepreneur Programme.

He recalled that in June 2013 while in South Africa, President Obama announced that the Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI) would expand the programme to provide opportunities for 500 young African leaders to receive training in the US. He disclosed that 10 Gambians will be sent to this programme.

Further giving an historical background about the relations between the two countries, the US diplomat indicated that the US representation was established in The Gambia as far back as 1830 but was withdrawn in 1867. The US, he added, opened its embassy in The Gambia in 1965 but sent its first ambassador in 1980.

Yoneaka used the opportunity to also disclose that nearly 5, 000 visa interviews were conducted in the past year, saying they estimate that the consular section answered over 10, 000 public enquiries during the same period.

"Our consular team is growing in response to the demand for service; we added highly experienced support staff this year and we expect to add a vice consul next year," he informed.

He told the dinner that a qualified business traveler must have a residence in The Gambia and is expected to return.

"If your business is of a scale so small, it does not guarantee a good, steady income, qualifying can be a challenge," he explained. "On the other hand, you do not have to own a huge company to qualify for a visa. Travelling to develop small-scale businesses is encouraged."

Also speaking at the event, the president of American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham), Abdoulie Baks Touray, opined that the only way poverty can be alleviated is to create wealth.

"We [put] great premium on entrepreneurship development [because] entrepreneurs create prosperity and prosperity can be shared. In Africa we place a lot of premium on sports, music and dance as opposed to intellectualism," he said.

The president of Information Technology Association of The Gambia (ICTAG), Poncelet Lleleji, observed that the country has a competitive environment and has done well in terms of infrastructure given the ACE project.

About AmCham

AmCham The Gambia was established in May 2010 with an objective of encouraging entrepreneurship, help businesses prosper and grow, increase trade opportunities and facilitate s trade between The Gambia and United States by promoting Gambia as an export hub under the African Growth Opportunities Act (AGOA). It also seeks to establish partnerships with US state investors and Gambian entrepreneurs.


View related news articles

Biden’s fast-track Trade Authority (TPA) is set to expire this week

President Joe Biden is about to lose one of his main tools for getting trade agreements passed in Congress, dimming the outlook for deals already in the works with the U.K. and Kenya [See trade data below this article]. Trade Promotion Authority, or TPA, fast-track negotiating ability delegated to the U.S. president by Congress, is set to expire on Thursday. [See a FAQ guide here] That power, which was granted under the Trade Act of 1974,...

29 June 2021

Opinion | 'Africa's eyes are on Biden's prioritisation of continental trade'

When Donald Trump leaves the US capital tonight with his tail between his legs, it will be a moment of great relief for many Africans too. Like many in his own country, we've had it with his delusions of grandeur and, quite frankly, even Dinner at Somizi's was more entertaining than Trump's late-night tweets. With the possible exception of ACDP leader Kenneth Meshoe who, last year, urged us to pray for Trump's re-election, many of us...

20 January 2021

Former US negotiator: US-Kenya deal could spur regional value chains

A trade deal with the U.S. could help both Kenya and its neighbors in the East African Community by fostering the development of regional value chains, a former U.S. trade official tells Inside U.S. Trade. “I think it’d be really fascinating as we go forward with this U.S.-Kenya FTA to see what’s going to be possible not just for Kenya but for other African countries in various sectors,” Florie Liser, a former assistant U.S. Trade...

10 February 2020

President Trump announces intent to negotiate trade agreement with Kenya

President Donald J. Trump today announced the United States intends to initiate trade agreement negotiations with the Republic of Kenya following a meeting at the White House with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.  “Kenya is a recognized leader across the continent, an important strategic partner of the United States, and there is enormous potential for us to deepen our economic and commercial ties,” said United States Trade...

06 February 2020

US, Kenya reportedly to start trade talks seen as template for Africa

The U.S. and Kenya are expected to announce negotiations on a free-trade agreement next week, America’s first such deal with a sub-Saharan country, a person familiar with the plans said. The Trump administration wants the accord to be a model for future pacts with other nations in the region, one of the people said, declining to be identified because the talks are private. An announcement on the discussion will coincide with Kenyan...

29 January 2020

Cameroon, CAR, Gambia, Niger see US AGOA status changes

Cameroon will lose its preferred trade status under the US African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) on January 1, following a US decision to revoke its status because of its human rights record. The October decision was confirmed through a presidential proclamation last week. Three other African nations also will see AGOA status changes, the White House said.AGOA affect market access, investment and reduced or eliminated tariffs on US...

31 December 2019

Looking forward: US-Africa relations [incl. Video]

Editor's Note: On March 26, 2019, Brahima Coulibaly testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations. His written testimony on Africa's rapid transformation and U.S.-Africa relations follows. Thank you, Chairwoman Bass and Ranking Member Smith, for your leadership with respect to U.S. engagement with Africa. Your active role in fostering the...

26 March 2019

Gambia AGOA workshop: ‘US committed to expanding trade links with The Gambia’

The United States Ambassador to The Gambia, C. Patricia Alsup on May 9 presided over an African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) workshop in Banjul, using the opportunity to reaffirm the United States Government’s commitment to restoring and expanding its trade links with The Gambia. The AGOA workshop was organized in partnership with the Gambia Investment Export and Promotion Agency (GIEPA), and the United States Agency for International...

10 May 2018

US should shift focus in Africa from aid to trade, analysts and officials say

The U.S. needs a new approach to Africa that is focused more on developing commercial ties and less on providing aid, analysts and government officials said Friday. Speaking at a Center for Strategic and International Studies event, Erin Walsh, assistant secretary of Commerce for global markets, said it was critical for the U.S. to pivot from a focus on aid to Africa to one of commercial engagement with African countries. To that end, she...

23 February 2018

USTR Lighthizer's African dream

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer sparked a new conversation in trade circles on Wednesday when he floated the idea of the Trump administration launching bilateral trade negotiations with an African country "before very long."  "Personally, I think that before very long we're going to have to pick out an African country — properly selected — and enter into a free trade agreement with that country," he said in an...

01 February 2018

USTR Lighthizer: US will soon select an African country for a 'model' free trade deal

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer expects the U.S. will soon strike a free trade deal with a “properly selected” African country that will become a model for others in the region, he said on Wednesday.   During a radio interview at the White House, Lighthizer was asked about the potential for U.S. trade in the African region – something covered by the African Growth and Opportunities Act, which he said was...

31 January 2018