Gambia, The - Country Commercial Guide
Selling to the Public Sector

Describes how major projects are secured and financed. Explains activities of the multilateral development banks in and other aid-funded projects. 

Last published date: 2022-08-30

Selling to the Government

The Public Procurement Act of 2014 regulates public procurements and established the Gambia Public Procurement Authority. This agency regularly publishes rules and procedures to which all government entities must adhere. These rules and procedures appear on their website but are not regularly updated. The agency requires all government suppliers to be registered.

With the government transition, The Gambia continues to improve it procurement processes. The Gambia Public Procurement Authority is responsible for ensuring transparency, accountability, and an equal playing field for all throughout the procurement process. On an annual basis, public sector entities are mandated to prepare a procurement plan, which outlines all the procurement activities to be undertaken within that fiscal year. The procurement plan, together with the agency’s estimated budget, is used to identify potential sector-specific opportunities.

Several international institutions such as the World Bank, African Development Bank and specialized United Nations agencies regularly fund projects that require the procurement of goods and services. Often, the provision of these goods and services is open to both local and international companies; thus, presenting opportunities for U.S. businesses to bid for these contracts. The Gambia does not abide by the World Trade Organization Government Procurement Agreement.

U.S. companies bidding on government tenders may also qualify for U.S. Government advocacy. A unit of the U.S. Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration, the Advocacy Center coordinates U.S. Government interagency advocacy efforts on behalf of U.S. exporters bidding on public sector contracts with international governments and government agencies. The Advocacy Center works closely with our network of the U.S. Commercial Service worldwide and inter-agency partners to ensure that exporters of U.S. products and services have the best possible chance of winning government contracts. Advocacy assistance can take many forms but often involves the U.S. Embassy or other U.S. Government agencies expressing support for the U.S. bidders directly to the foreign government. Consult Advocacy Center for Foreign Government Contracts and for additional information.

As a partner post, the Commercial Section of the U.S. Embassy provides a range of fee-based services to help U.S. firms identify suitable agents, partners, or distributors within the country. Please contact the Political and Economic Section at poleconbanjul@state.gov. 

Financing of Projects

The Gambia is a member of many multilateral development institutions, including the World Bank and the African Development Bank, as well as specialized multilateral UN institutions which provide the bulk of project financing in The Gambia. The Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs also houses a Project Coordination Unit  which is responsible for managing government projects. Most of these projects are financed through loans and grants. Following the change in government, the European Union has also increased its donor engagement with the Gambian government. As a condition for approving and financing projects, strict procurement rules are followed. Bidding for these procurements is open to U.S. firms.

Multilateral Development Banks and Financing Government Sales

Price, payment terms, and financing can be significant factors in winning a government contract. Many governments finance public works projects through borrowing from the Multilateral Development Banks (MDB).  A helpful guide for working with the MDBs is the Guide to Doing Business with the Multilateral Development Banks, which can be found on the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration website.  The International Trade Administration has a Foreign Commercial Service Officer stationed at each of the five different MDBs: the African Development Bank; the Asian Development Bank; the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; the Inter-American Development Bank; and the World Bank.

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