WHAT’S GONE WRONG WITH JAMMEH-NOMICS? THE RICHEST CAPITALIST IN AFRICA PREACHING ECONOMIC SOCIALISM
While the economic situation of the country continues to look bleak, the series of bad economic news recently reported by the minister of finance and the governor central bank exposed the stupidity of linking economic growth with that of putting food on every Gambian table three times a day- Yaya Jammeh’s definition of economic growth now termed as Jammeh-nomics.
As stated in his speech during the 8th convocation ceremony of the UTG, Jammeh said, ‘I do not believe in growing economics where GDP is growing at 10 to 20 per cent and your people are becoming beggars and dying across the Atlantic. I don’t believe in those statistics, I believe in practical economics of what I can see. I do not care about one per cent economic growth as long as Gambians are getting a better meal every day, their breakfast, lunch and dinner could improve, that is economic growth for me’.
With a looming economic crisis, this perennially mismanaged country with high budget deficit, accelerated inflation of 9% for food items and a mounting domestic debt of 50 percent of GDP will soon face serious shortages of essential goods as economic growth is projected to grow at less than 1 percent a far cry from that of the impressive growth rates registered by our neighbouring countries.
Anytime there is bad economic news, Jammeh will be seen on the state broadcaster (the Gambia is the only country in the region that has only one TV station) dishing out money to needy people, a deliberate propaganda ploy to cover up the devastating economic consequences of his failed policies. Continuously Printing money or borrowing funds from the domestic investors (banks) through the issuance of treasury bills is a reckless way to manage the economy. Since he lacks any formalized training in economics, the indiscriminate intervention in the foreign currency markets should be abandoned.
Markets create jobs and it is businesses in the private markets that create wealth. If we are to fight poverty and bring prosperity to Gambians we need to raise the economic growth to levels comparable to Dubai and Singapore. Unless Jammeh stops his wasteful spending on frequent celebrations and start rationalising government expenditures on development and productive purposes, very soon his government would be declared bankrupt and the poor will not be able to grow what they want to eat instead they will swell the numbers of beggars in the street. There is nothing like ‘practical economics.’
Providing food is no measure of economic growth. Every civilized nation is now concern with improving the quality of the lives of it citizenry which not only include food but quality health, quality education and elevated standard of living with guarantees of freedom and liberty as ordained by the Almighty. Yaya Jammeh should know that he is now holding on the far end of a burnt out government. Jammeh-nomics is just a political ploy for the hungry and has no place in the annals of economic management.
God Bless the Gambia!
BY AN INSIDER BANJUL