1. The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of The Gambia met on Wednesday, February 28, 2018 to assess domestic and international economic developments and set the key policy interest rate.  The following are highlights of the deliberations on key economic indicators that informed the Committee’s decision.


Global Economic Outlook

  1. Prospects for the global growth have improved in 2017 and the momentum is expected to continue through 2018, driven largely by rebound in manufacturing, trade and investment. Global food prices are expected to remain subdued amid ample supply although oil prices continue to rise. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) revised upwards global economic growth for 2017 and 2018 to 3.7 percent and 3.9 percent respectively.  Inflation remains subdued, with global inflation projected at 3.3 percent in 2018 compared to 3.2 percent in 2017.

Real Sector

  1. In The Gambia, real GDP growth is projected at 3.0 percent in 2017, higher than 2.2 percent in 2016. Economic activity is projected to gather strength in 2018 with projected real GDP growth of 3.8 percent, underpinned by projected increase in agricultural production, construction and a strong performance of the tourism sector as well as improved business sentiments.

Exchange Market Developments

  1. The foreign exchange market has stabilized. Volume of transactions in the domestic foreign exchange market in the year to end-January, 2018 stood at US$1.5 billion compared to US$1.48 billion in the corresponding period in 2017. Purchases, indicating supply totaled US$758.4 million compared to US$737.8 million a year ago.  Sales, indicating demand, increased by 1.0 percent to US$744.27 million. The exchange rate of the dalasi is expected to remain stable with continued implementation of sound macroeconomic policies, renewed confidence and improved supply conditions.

Monetary Developments

  1. Money supply (M2) grew by 20.9 percent in 2017, higher than 15.3 percent in 2016, reflecting significant improvement in the net foreign assets of the banking system. The net foreign assets of the banking system stood at D6.4 billion compared to D1.3 billion a year earlier.  The net domestic assets, on the other hand, contracted by 1.4 percent to D21.6 billion, reflecting reduced borrowing by Government.
  1. Reserve money, the Bank’s operating target grew by 22.6 percent in the year to end-December 2017, lower than the 25.2 percent recorded a year earlier. Growth in reserve money was driven largely by the increase in the net foreign assets (NDA) of the Central Bank. Net foreign assets of the Central Bank increased from negative D530.5 million in 2016 to positive D2.8 billion in 2017. International reserves of the Bank stood at 4.5 months of imports of goods and services in February 2018.


Domestic Debt Developments

  1. The Gambia’s domestic debt is stabilizing somewhat, thanks to government’s overall debt management strategy. Stock of domestic debt decreased from D28.7 billion or 66.3 percent of GDP in 2016 to D28.1 billion or 63.1 percent of GDP in 2017.  Stock of Treasury and Sukuk Al Salaam bills contracted significantly by 13.6 percent to D15.5 billion in 2017.  Government’s position at the Central Bank was a net repayment of D1.7 billion in December 2017 from a new borrowing (net) of D2.2 billion at end-December 2016.
  1. Yields on all Treasury bills and Sukuk Al Salaam bills declined, reflecting reduced borrowing by government.  The 91-day, 182-day and 364-day yields fell from 13.67 percent, 16.25 percent and 17.71 percent in December 2016 to 5.03 percent, 5.52 percent and 6.73 percent respectively in December 2017.


Banking Sector Developments

  1. The banking sector remains well capitalized, highly liquid and also profitable. Total assets of the industry expanded from D32.6 billion in December 2016 to D37.8 billion in December 2017.  The risk weighted capital adequacy ratio stood at 33.6 percent as at end-December 2017, significantly higher than the statutory requirement of 10 percent. Liquidity ratio of the banking industry stood at 92.9 percent in December 2017, significantly higher than the requirement of 30 percent.  Non-performing loans ratio was 7.8 percent as at end December 2017.

Price developments

  1. Headline Inflation, measured by the National Consumer Price Index (NCPI) decelerated to 6.4 percent in January 2018 relative to 8.8 percent in the same period in 2017.
  1. Food inflation decelerated to 6.2 percent in January 2018 from 10.1 percent in the corresponding period last year. Non-food inflation, on the other hand, increased marginally to 6.9 percent compared to 6.8 percent in the review period, due mainly to the increase in prices of clothing, textile and footwear.



  1. The Committee noted that economic growth prospects have improved with expectation of rebound in agriculture, construction, tourism and trade, and improved business sentiments. The projected increase in agricultural production will further dampen food inflation.
  1. The central bank financing of fiscal deficit was zero in 2017 and this translated to lower inflationary pressures.


  1. The Committee noted that headline inflation and inflation expectations have been broadly trending downwards. The trend is expected to continue with continued fiscal consolidation, moderate prices of imported goods and the continued stability of the exchange rate. Given the above developments, headline inflation is expected to continue to trend towards the medium-term target of 5 percent.
  1. However, there are risks to the outlook including rising global oil prices and high level of domestic debt.


  1. Taking these factors in to consideration, the Committee judged that the risk to inflation outlook remains moderate and decided to leave the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) unchanged at 15 percent. The Committee would continue to monitor risks and take the necessary policy action to drive inflation towards the medium term target.

Note: The next Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting is scheduled for  May 30, 2018 to be followed by announcement of policy decision on May 31, 2018.




The Central Bank of The Gambia (CBG), through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs (MOFEA) secured funding from the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation (COMEC) of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to implement a project titled “Enhancing Financial Literacy and Capacity Building on Islamic Financial Instruments (2014-GAMFINAN-061)”. This project is geared towards enhancing literacy and capacity in Islamic Financial Instruments (IFIs) with a view towards promoting their increased availability in the COMCEC member countries of The Gambia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. It is envisaged that an increase in the level of awareness and the visibility of IFIs within the targeted countries will have spill-over effects in other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, while also strengthening the solidarity between COMCEC member states. The project commenced in April 2015 and ended in September 2015 and was implemented by the Financial Supervision Department (FSD) of the Central Bank of The Gambia (CBG), through a Project Implementation Team (PIT) comprised of a Focal Person (Mr. Bai Madi Ceesay, MOFEA), the Responsible Authority for the implementation of the project (Mr. Essa Drammeh, CBG), a Project Coordinator (Mr. Alieu B. Senghore) and the FSD Team.

The project deliverables included:

  • A baseline survey report on the current Islamic financial sectors of the project countries.
  • A study tour to Malaysia, the leading Islamic Finance hub in the world, for a group of financial supervisors from the Central Bank of The Gambia, the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Bank of Sierra Leone to study the country’s Islamic finance sector.
  • A regional workshop that was held at Ocean Bay Ocean Bay Hotel on September 14th and 15th 2015 to deliberate on the steps and mechanisms that could be put in place to develop the respective Islamic financial sectors of the project countries that had participants drawn from the banking and insurance regulators of Nigeria and Sierra Leone respectively and from Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), as well as a number of key stakeholders from The Gambia, which included participants from the Central Bank of The Gambia, the private sector (all banks and insurance companies), Shariah scholars, tertiary/training institutions and relevant government departments and agencies.

This project is in line with the CBG’s vision to position The Gambia as a leading Islamic finance hub in Africa. The CBG is of the view that the private sector will be the key anchor of any strategy to promote the use of Islamic Finance Instruments in the country and as such would like to drive the awareness of the project to private sector participants and solicit their support in the CBG’s continued efforts to develop the broad Islamic finance sector in the country and the sub-region.

The CBG would like to thank all the local, regional and international institutions that supported the implementation of this project, with special mentions going to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs (MOFEA), Bank Negara Malaysia, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Bank of Sierra Leone (BSL), Nigeria Insurance Commission (NAICOM) and Sierra Leone Insurance Commission (SLICOM). The CBG would also like to thank COMCEC for funding the project.






In February, 2015, the Central Bank of The Gambia announced that the new family of Gambian Banknotes including a new D200 banknote will be issued on the 30th March, 2015. Due to delay in the receipt of publicity materials from the printers, the issue into circulation of these banknotes is now slated for 15th April, 2015.
A nationwide sensitization campaign in connection with the issue into circulation of the new family of Gambian banknotes and proper handling of banknotes will commence on the 13th April, 2015.

30th MARCH, 2015





The Central Bank of The Gambia (CBG) in collaboration with the Government of The Gambia received approval to introduce New Redesigned Family of Gambian Circulation Notes. The change was aimed at reducing the sizes of the national currency notes to achieve efficiency and take advantage of technological developments in the currency industry. The new notes also have advanced security features that would make counterfeiting difficult.

As a result, the CBG on Wednesday, February 25, 2015, launched the following currency notes and coins:

  1. Commemorative D20 Polymer (plastic) banknotes
  2. Commemorative Gold and Gold-Plated Silver coins
  3. Redesigned family of New Banknotes including a D200 banknote


The D20 Polymer will be put into circulation on Monday 02nd March, 2015 while the series of redesigned banknotes will be issued on Monday March 30, 2015. The Golden Jubilee Commemorative Gold and Gold Plated Coins will also be available for sale on Monday 02nd March, 2015.

  1. Commemorative D20.00 Polymer Banknote.

This is the first series of Polymer Banknotes to be issued by the CBG and is intended, among other things, to Commemorate 20 Years of the July 22nd Revolution and to be in line with international best practice.
The Polymer Banknote is based on the existing D25.00 note and therefore similar in many aspects except that the colour background of the D20 Polymer banknote is green and bears the portrait of the President, H.E. Sheikh Professor Alhagie Dr. Yahya. A. J. J. Jammeh. The polymer banknotes have a date of 22nd July 2014 with the words “20 Years of Progress and Self-Reliance” written on the centre bottom of the obverse side of the note.

Few critical changes were made to incorporate security features that are unique to only polymer notes to enhance the overall security level of the denomination. However, both the polymer and the current D25.00 notes shall be in circulation side by side and the latter will continue to be legal tender and be in circulation until it is fully withdrawn over time.

  1. New Family of Gambian Banknotes

Furthermore, the CBG will introduce into circulation a New Family of paper base Gambian Banknotes for all other denominations except the D25.00 which will be replaced by the D20.00 note. These notes will include a New D200.00 denomination. A fundamental distinction is that all the notes are smaller in size and all of them bear the portrait of the President. This new family of banknotes will be circulated nationwide along with the existing banknote family of D100.00, D50.00, D25.00, D10.00 and D5.00 until these are fully withdrawn overtime.

  1. New Commemorative Gold and Gold Plated Silver Coins.

In another development, the CBG also introduced New Commemorative Gold and Gold-Plated Silver Coins with face values of D50, 000.00 and D500.00 respectively. This was to commemorate the country`s GOLDEN JUBILEE marking the nation`s  50th INDEPENDENCE ANNIVERSARY on 18th February, 2015.
Commemorative coins are issued in limited quantities and are not meant for general circulation but they are legal tender and available for sale at the Currency Unit of Banking Department of the Central Bank of The Gambia.
Given that The Gambia is a cash-based economy, we urge the general public to handle the notes with utmost care. A massive sensitization campaign will be conducted nationwide very soon.

February 26th, 2015

Posters - DLR - Gambia A2 Poster - New family of Banknotes