Dwelling in The Gambia

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SUMMARY
I take pleasure in touring round West Africa, particularly round culturally wealthy areas mixing nature with fashionable infrastructural developments. Each my air and street travels round this ECOWAS subregion within the final 15 years has been each instructive and enriching for me. I’ve been culturally immersed with variety in languages, faith, tradition, meals, structure, local weather, financial life, wildlife.

The data acquired, can’t be quantified in financial phrases, and i’ll advocate this academic excursions to our youths to allow them respect and tolerate different cultures, thus decreasing conflicts and disputes amongst neighboring nations. Elsewhere, i’ve written and held a number of seminars on working and residing in Ghana about 11 years in the past.

At present, the success story of Ghana is clear to all and this nation Ghana, has emerged as the most effective economies within the subregion. Once more, i’m introducing one other rising nice financial system to you, The Gambia.

Earlier than the entire world flood right here, and you will be overlooked, why not take my advise significantly and make investments, work, dwell or vacation on this stunning nation to expertise what I am speaking about? I like this peaceable nation blessed with hospitable individuals. Gambians welcome you with pure inspiring smiles. The Gambia is bounded spherical by an historic river, wealthy in pure assets of sea meals, animals and therapeutic powers. Welcome to The Gambia, the smiling coast of West Africa.

From the pure great thing about Makasutu Village, historic websites of Kunta Kinteh village, James Island, Kachikally Crocodile pool, Kanilai Farm, and so many different websites to the seashores and folks, you’ll hardly need to go away. Little surprise, there are such a lot of repeat vacationers coming to The Gambia for the previous 10-15 years that I’ve met. They arrive from throughout Europe, Americas, Asia and Africa. On the seashore, the fantastic thing about the Sea, the sand and solar will remind you of Mom Africa.

How concerning the funding local weather, very favorable and investor pleasant.With a steady financial system with a single digit inflation fee and foreign money trade of US$1.0= GMD26 (As at ninth April, 2010). The Gambia is a multicultural nation with a whole lot of immigrants from West Africa, Europe, America, Center East and Asia completely residing as buyers, working with a number of NGOs, some retired buyers whereas many others are engaged in importation companies and owned a number of procuring malls.The Gambia is dwelling to buyers, volunteers, professionals pursuing their profession, and vacation makers who has made this peaceable nation their vacation spot. Welcome to The Gambia, the place there isn’t any discrimination based mostly on faith, creed, coloration, race, gender, social standing, incapacity and with zero tolerance to corruption. Learn on! Alsamadeh!

MARKET
The key markets are in Banjul, Serrekunda and Brikama. Right here, you may store for staple meals like fish, meat, greens, clothings, jeweleries and trend equipment. The locals welcome individuals with pure smiles after exchanging the non secular greetings: “Asalamalekun”, that means, peace be unto you. Historically, Gambian girls go to market day by day to purchase what to cook dinner.They are often seen with the plastic baskets with holders thronging to the busy markets to buy recent fish, meat, greens and take time to greet one another asking after every others’ households, relations and get up to date about present social occasions and different girls gossips. A number of the elites, nonetheless, favor to buy in procuring malls round Kairaba Avenue, and purchase meals in giant portions to retailer at dwelling.

Mini-markets, or what some name supermarkets are all around the Higher Banjul space competing with the standard markets. There are additionally the neighborhood outlets, known as “Fulah Retailers”, owned principally by Mauritanian residents and in some instances by Guineans. That is the place to get the domestically made bread known as, “Tapalapa”. That is often a protracted banana formed clay oven baked bread that’s often transported on bicycles by the suppliers early within the morning, mid-day and sundown time. I favor shopping for this, when recent, it is tender and extra interesting than the stale hardened and uninviting ones. A full one goes for D5 and the half is D2.50. The bread is often offered with a pleasant unfold of butter, mayonnaises, egg, potato and spiced with jumbo or Maggi sauce relying on the client’s preferences.

There may be additionally “Senfu”, which has a crumb nature and less expensive, being offered for D3 for a full roll. Nonetheless, i observed the “Senfu” shouldn’t be as filling because the “Tapalapa” that may maintain me going for the entire day, like a bowl of “Fufu”, which is the energiser for many Nigerians, Ghanaians and Sierra- Leoneans in The Gambia. The native “Fufu” not like those present in Ghana and Nigeria are created from “Saddam Rice”, as it’s known as domestically, by milling it into powder and cooked right into a stable paste in a pot. The most well-liked lunch meal, amongst Gambians, is the jollof rice, domestically known as ” Benechin”. Various kinds of stew are ready to eat the rice meal like”Plasas”, “Tremendous ganja”, “Damoda”,and so on. I benefit from the Gambia breakfast meal of “Thura Girthe”, which could be very wealthy in protein. This can be a combination of properly pounded rice cooked with milled groundnut and eaten with a diffusion of yogurt “Bitter Milk”.

Gambians eat collectively. Small teams of between 5-8 individuals are often seen consuming from the identical bowl, and but, when a customer seems, she or he is beakoned to nonetheless be part of them and share out of it. That is the real love, i am but to see anyplace. In the event you assume there isn’t any free meal anyplace, you are mistaken; come to The Gambia! This clarify the explanation for very low or non-existent crime fee. No less than, a lunch meal is assured for anybody residing in The Gambia. Meals is shared, nobody goes dwelling hungry. The ladies additionally waste a whole lot of meals by all the time getting ready loads anticipating guests to hitch them when serving their meals. They bundle the rice meals in giant huge bowls with a canopy and wrap it in a conventional method with fabric, that can safe the meals from spilling and carry to their husbands at their respective working locations for them to eat with colleagues. Generally, they go journey lengthy distances, to ship the meals, like a household residing in Lamin and the husband working in Serrekunda.

WORK HOURS

The official working hours is 8am- 4pm from Monday to Thursday. Friday is half day. Most of Gambians are Muslims, they usually go for the Friday Particular prayers within the afternoon. Though, the “African time” idea continues to be prevalent among the many individuals, that is widespread with the federal government employees, the non-public sector is best. Most severe enterprise appointments begin from 9am, regardless that, they’re scheduled for 8am.

The key motive generally for arriving at work late, will be on account of unavailability of economic autos to move employees to their respective locations of labor. Even, at locations of labor, Gambians don’t forget to take their Chinese language natural tea known as ” Atire”.

GAME OF FOOTBALL

A primary time customer, to The Gambia will assume the sport of soccer has it is origin from right here, due to the love and fervour connected to this sport. There are fairly quite a few playgrounds which can be by no means stored idle due to the teeming youths that religiously practice and play day by day matches, particularly within the evenings after work or faculty. Equally, on weekends, very first thing within the morning, you’ll discover everybody exercising or enjoying the sport they love most; soccer.

The discussions of most of those youths that represent half of the nation’s inhabitants is centered on the European matches. Groups like Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester Metropolis, Arsenal, Barcelona, Actual Madrid, AC Milan and different massive groups have passionate followers in The Gambia.

There are lots of Soccer Viewing facilities which can be making a fortune displaying the dwell matches to most Gambian. Though, a few of these youths won’t know the capital of Nigeria, they usually inform me it is Lagos, however they actually know all of the European Membership Managers, first line ups and transfers of those key gamers, to not speak concerning the newest scores within the premiership or championship.

The Gambia’s nationwide group, known as the “Scorpion” is adored and also you dare not say something dangerous towards this group so as to not incur the wrath of my soccer lovers. A loss in sport when “Scorpions” play, will flip the complete nation right into a grave yard, “a mourning interval”. However with a win; the Brazilian samba dancers will envy the dance steps of each the younger girls and boys singing: “ho, ho ho ho, ha,ha,ha,ha..haleyomii”. Subsequently, to make mates with Gambians is very easy, simply choose up a soccer matter!

BEACHES

The weather conditions of The Gambia is barely totally different from different ECOWAS nations. There is just one cycle of rainfall which begins round June and ends round October. It’s often scorching through the raining intervals, not like different nations that have chilly intervals.

The Hamattan interval begins from November to February. Nonetheless, the climate experiences erratic adjustments generally. The seashores are clear and supply succor to visiting vacationers that need to expertise the fantastic thing about the solar, the ocean and the sand of The Gambia.

There are a number of seashores to go to. From Banjul seashore to Palma Rima, Senegambia and as much as Sanyang. There are such a lot of non-public seashores alongside this line. Most white vacationers known as “Toubabs” are often welcome at these seashores which have enticing conventional bars with pure juice, canned drinks, barbecue and particular packages for guests.

The menace of “bumsters” have been curtailed and there are vacationer police patrolling a lot of the busy seashores to discourage the “unsolicited mates”. The seashores are besieged by nearly all Gambians throughout festive intervals or throughout main musical concert events or exhibits.

FESTIVE PERIODS

A customer arriving The Gambia round Easter or Christmas will assume all Gambians are Christians, with the celebration and partying. Equally, across the Muslim festivals of “Koriteh or Tobaski” will give one the impression that there isn’t any single Christian on the town.

That is the sweetness and variety of the Gambian hospitality and tolerance of different religions in The Gambia. The individuals take pleasure in good music. The native artists are adored, a few of whom are Jalibah Kuyateh, Titi Kololi, Freakie Joe, Asan Njie, Olugander and Sambou to say just a few.

The ladies, each younger and outdated, take pleasure in dancing. The very bodily dances of leaping and kicking the air is widespread and that i usually surprise the place the ladies get the additional power and energy from. Some younger males that aren’t used to those dances, dare not problem these girls in a dancing competitors, if they don’t need to be hospitalized.

The leisure business is subsequently very vibrant. Most individuals chill out by watching Nigerian, Senegalese and Ghanaian dwelling movies. There are a number of video rental outlets to choose the most recent Nigerian movies from. Many of the banks and resorts present international channels like DSTV, CNN, AlJAZEERA, EUROSPORT and so on.

PAID WORK IN THE GAMBIA

Apart from ECOWAS nationals, which can be allowed to work freely in some key authorities sectors like Training and Judiciary, different nationals are solely allowed to work as expatriate and need to undergo a scrutiny and get approval from the immigration division, earlier than they are often permitted to work with the federal government.

Nonetheless, buyers are allowed to herald their work power, offered they abide by the immigration legal guidelines of acquiring a piece/residential allow. Openings exist all 12 months spherical for certified lecturers in Senior secondary colleges all around the nation.

Many of the vacancies are often stuffed by Nigerians, Ghanaians, Senegalese, Sierra-Leoneans, Liberians and a handful of different ECOWAS nationals. Openings additionally exist for lecturers in College of The Gambia, a number of skilled coaching institutes and different tertiary institutes like Administration Growth Institute (MDI), Gambia School and Gambia Technical Coaching Institute (G.T.T.I).

Though, the non-public institutes remuneration is greater than the federal government pay scale. Many of the secondary colleges within the provinces are in want of lecturers, most lecturers moderately favor to switch to the city cities leaving the agricultural villages with out certified educating power.

Authorities sponsored colleges remuneration bundle for non-Gambian lecturers are between D3,500-D4,000 per shift (Morning or afternoon) relying on the entry degree expertise and qualification. The non-public colleges pay between D4,500-D10,000, relying on the varsity and expertise of the instructor.

Most colleges favor lecturers which have gathered “Gambian expertise”, that means, they should have taught in The Gambia for some years to grasp the system. Combining each shifts means extra revenue. Most authorities colleges favor to pay full wage for the morning shift and half wage for the afternoon shift. There are different a number of alternatives of revenue incomes, by organizing examine courses for the scholars after shut of faculty by some lecturers. Most lecturers usually change faculty to these paying extra, and each time period witnesses a mass drift of lecturers round.

The coveted colleges are: Marina Worldwide, SBEC, Zenith, SOS, Scanaid and West African Worldwide. Linguistics and sciences are the popular topics usually in excessive demand. English language, English Literature, Arithmetic, Additional Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Agric Science, Utilized Electrical energy and so on, are “scorching cake” topics for most colleges.
ECOWAS certified lecturers (M.Sc, B.Sc & HND holders within the topics listed above) are often being employed in secondary colleges in The Gambia.

Different professionals wanted to work within the non-public sectors are:

1. Attorneys with LL.b diploma which have efficiently accomplished Regulation faculty and known as to Bar to work as
Magistrates/Judges with the Ministry of Justice.
2. Skilled Graphic & Web site Designers.
3. Skilled Advertisers.
4. Desktop & Laptop computer Restore Technicians.
5. Car Technicians.
6. Theater Arts & Dramatic artists.
7. Movie Administrators & Producers.
8. Skilled Actors & Actresses.
9. Radio & T.V Programme Presenters.
10. Fish Breeding & Farming
11. Aquarium Making & Gold Fish Rearing.
12. Management Growth Trainers.
13. Trainers in distinctive abilities & vocations.
14. Cottage Business set-up trainers ( Physique lotions, soaps, cartons, shoe polish and so on.)

The monetary business has witnessed an outstanding progress with addition of extra banks becoming a member of the league lately, bringing the full variety of banks to 14 in The Gambia. Most of those Nigerian banks are opening up branches and can want extra employees.

Though, it’s far cheaper to rent the locals than expatriate by the banks, due to the particular tax paid for not hiring Gambians. The identical rule applies to the Resort and Tourism business. The Non Governmental Organizations, NGOs are allowed to herald their personnel.

Volunteers are additionally welcome in The Gambia. Volunteers can have a cultural immersion and acquire worldwide expertise on this peaceable nation. For vacation makers, i’ll advocate visiting this small however distinctive nation for these in the hunt for a Peaceable, Inexpensive and Memorable African Retreat (PAMAR!)

INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES

1. ECOWAS CITIZENS

The federal government welcome funding in all sectors, particular consideration is, nonetheless, given to Agriculture due to the significance of meals safety to any nation. Different sectors like Actual Property & Properties, Mining Business, Resort & Tourism, Well being, Training, Manufacturing and Agro- allied Sectors are key areas to enter and get authorities incentive, in tax aid and complete help.

ECOWAS residents take pleasure in free motion of individuals and items inside the 16 nations block, the required capital wanted to re-locate to the Gambia to work, dwell, make investments or vacation is much lower than what’s required to calm down in different ECOWAS nations. With the electrical energy tariffs coming down (because of the federal government initiative), NAWEC, the electrical energy firm is doing her finest to ensure steady provide of electrical energy and lots of companies solely depend on this steady electrical energy provide.

Incidences of armed theft assault are very uncommon. I’ve not observed or witness or hear about armed theft assaults within the final six years. I solely learn in one of many newspapers, one or two instances, about such assaults within the provinces some few years in the past. Folks transfer about with out worry of molestation or assault. Petty cell phone theft are often widespread.

The residential homes are inexpensive, and rents of 1 to 3 months advance funds, are demanded. The individuals are heat and hospitable. For as little as D500 per 30 days, a room will be rented across the busy areas like Brikama, Latrikunda, Lamin,Tabokoto, Wellingara and Coastal street areas.

The two-bed room flats with all of the conveniences goes for between D1,500-D2,500 per 30 days in these areas relying on the completed style and proximity to the busy highways. ECOWAS residents can enter and settle within the nation with alternatives to begin small companies.

For these smart residents within the nation, there are a number of companies to select from and do effortlessly on this funding pleasant nation. Anybody coming to The Gambia for the primary time, should to start with plan and put together, understanding what to do and the place to remain and having ample details about the tradition and enterprise local weather.

2. WORLDWIDE INVESTORS ( MEDIUM/ LARGE SCALE BUSINESSES)

The precise areas, smart buyers, can rush into to take a position presently, from our detailed analysis findings are:
A) Organising a personal College with residential campus to draw all ECOWAS residents.
B) Eateries like MacDonald’s, Rooster George, Mr. Briggs, Candy Sensation, Tantalizers, TFC, and so on
C) Botanical Backyard/ Love Backyard across the Vacationer areas.
D) Constructing low Price Houses to be offered or rented out to individuals.
E) Floor nut processing manufacturing facility.
F) Feed Mill for Poultry, Rabbitry and Turkey Manufacturing.
G) Cashew Processing Manufacturing unit (CNS Oil, brake oil, glue, rubber,electrical wires and so on).
H) Pure Juice canning manufacturing facility ( Fruits like mangoes, orange, lime and so on abound).
I) Contemporary Flower manufacturing and export.
J) Fish Canning/ Meals packaging for export.

There are different 90 companies now we have surveyed to be potential instantaneous cash earners for smart buyers to tackle. Kindly request for an in depth mission profile on this. The Gambia Funding Promotion and Free Zones Company, (GIPFZA) welcome buyers with distinctive gives of tax aid, authorities help and non-bureaucratic processing of crucial paperwork to permit for fast set-up and funding in The Gambia.

To have a good thought of the enterprise local weather, i like to recommend that each one potential buyers learn the most recent enterprise listing (The Gambia Enterprise Listing).

INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT & BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT

The Gambia, although small, however has a strong financial system with fourteen business banks, 4 GSM corporations, a very good variety of airways plying the subregion and the skin world. There are greater than 5 day by day newspapers, round eight radio stations and lots of resorts of worldwide requirements together with the 5-star Sheraton Resort.

The key roads from the airport to most busy business facilities like Kairaba, Brufut, West Subject, Senegambia, Brikama, Latrikunda and Banjul are all tarred with properly lighted road lights. Clear, recent and handled pipe borne water is offered to most properties 24hrs uninterrupted.

Communication and web companies are fairly cheaper than most different nations. The price of beginning a enterprise in The Gambia is much cheaper each within the quick time period and long run. The actual property enterprise is having fun with an incredible increase with 30% return yearly on investments, and the Meltdown phenomenon shouldn’t be simply noticeable in The Gambia.

The Gambia is a vacationer vacation spot and repeated guests are widespread on this great and peace loving smiling coast of The Gambia. Though, The Gambia is a tax based mostly financial system, the federal government makes substantial earnings from Tourism and exportation of agricultural commodities like Groundnut, Fishes, Cotton and stable minerals.

It’s necessary for each resident to have a TIN quantity(Tax Identification Quantity) earlier than a checking account will be opened. New buildings are arising day by day and it’s common sight,to see a lot of the property homeowners promoting their telephone contacts for these excited by renting or leasing these properties from excessive rise buildings in Senegambia axis, Kairaba, Fajara, West Subject, Tallinding, Tabokoto, Abuko, Lamin, Yundum and so on.

Gambians in diaspora are speeding dwelling to take a position on this excessive yielding property sector. A customer that final visited the nation a 12 months in the past, will discover a outstanding distinction on this infrastructural developments. The Gambia is a clear nation, particularly with the introduction of the month-to-month cleansing workouts, known as “SETSETAL”, which is a particular cleansing day for everyone on the final Saturday of the month between the hours of 8-1pm and thereafter there may be free motion.

Municipal officers go round to make sure the wastes are correctly disposed and guarantee compliance to the legislation, that each one outlets and companies most be closed and no motion of economic autos, till the top of the cleansing train.

Well being smart, it’s protected to dwell in The Gambia, as a result of the well being supply system could be very environment friendly and properly geared up with the perfect medical personnel in The world. There are numerous well being facilities, properly unfold across the nation with ambulances standing by to rapidly evacuate emergencies to Royal Victoria Educating Hospital, RVTH, Banjul the place difficult instances are often taken.

Guests coming for the primary time, subsequently, are suggested to take the suitable vaccinations beneficial. ECOWAS residents should take vaccinations towards yellow fever, meningitis, Polio and so on and guarantee these are stamped on their Yellow Card, that is even taken extra significantly, when touring by street by way of Benin, Togo, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal to The Gambia. Not having a sound Yellow Card may value you a fortune in fines you may be requested to Pay!

Medical companies is free to Gambians, besides the registration card which is D5 solely. ECOWAS residents are, nonetheless, required to pay for value of remedy and hospitalization, relying on the remedy. Vacationer visiting The Gambia are suggested to have a Journey Insurance coverage when visiting

Transportation inside the nation is inexpensive. Shifting from one location to a different is sort of simple. There are three classes of economic street transportation. One, is the business Bus, that solely permit most of three passengers on a row which is handy, not like 4 on a row in a number of different nations. Any such buses go across the main locations like Banjul to Serrekunda (D6), Banjul to Tabokoto (D10), Banjul to Brikama (D15), Serrekunda to Senegambia (D5) and so on.

The second class is the yellow and inexperienced painted taxis that take individuals for D5 a drop or chartered companies for many vacationers and locals, known as “City Journey”. The final class, are the inexperienced painted and branded “Vacationer Taxis” for vacationers from and to the airport, resort areas, most seashores and historic websites for brand new guests. They’re dearer than the yellow painted ones.

Besides when it is rather necessary, first time guests are, nonetheless, inspired to keep away from going out across the rush hours, like 7-8am and 4-6pm, particularly when commuters are going to or coming back from work. From Tabokoto, Lamin, West area, Serrekunda and Brikama within the morning to Banjul and returning again dwelling within the night is all the time very hectic and costly to take a taxi. The bus-stops are often congested and the site visitors chaotic round these intervals.

There are lots of properly organized tour operators with luxurious air conditioned buses to choose from and to the airport all guests and vacationer that organize their visits by way of them. Additionally they companion with most resorts on excursions to historic websites and across the cities.

There space ferry companies out there to move individuals throughout the River Gambia. From Barra to Banjul is D25 solely. Guests can are available in to the nation both by land by way of The Gambian border with Senegal at Hamdallah, or from Guinea and Cassamace, Senegal by way of Basse. By air is thru the one airport at Yundum. The Banjul Worldwide Airport, the most effective within the subregion with the longest run-way and fashionable radial amenities put in.

The airport shouldn’t be all the time busy and vacationers ought to all the time inform somebody to choose them on the airport, particularly through the weekends when business actions are low. Nonetheless, vacationer taxis can be found at any time for between D500-D800 relying on the gap, often between 15-30km from the airport.

There’s a Bureau de Change on the airport to alter cash from different currencies like Euro, {dollars}, kilos and CFA to Dalaisi. For Visa Card carriers, there may be ECO Financial institution ATM on the airport. Financial institution PHB and Belief financial institution even have their ATMs on the airport.

On arrival within the nation, if you hear “Nagadef?”, that means how are you, simply reply “Jamarek”, that means i am wonderful. After a hand shake, say “Jerejef”, that means thanks.
Jerejef, Jarama, Baraka (that means thanks in 3 totally different native languages).

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