BANJUL, Gambia

The Gambian economy has nosedived because of the effects of the coronavirus as the small nation expects an estimated 20% decline in revenue.

President Adama Barrow told lawmakers during a State of the Nation address Wednesday that the gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to decline from 6% to 2% as a result of the pandemic.

“The decline in import volumes and economic activities will correspondingly lead to shortfalls in import duties and other tax revenues,” said Barrow. “Based on the current situation, an estimated twenty percent of the expected revenue will be lost.”

In addition, tax revenues are expected to drop by 2.3 billion dalasi ($43.5 million) as the fiscal deficit is expected to widen by 2.1%.

One of the key sectors hit hard by the pandemic is tourism. An assessment released by the Gambia Tourism Board in May estimated it may lose up to US$108 million (5.6 Gambian delasi).

Tourism contributes 20% of Gambia’s GDP but the sector has been grounded to a halt since March when the small nation registered its first case of COVID- 19. The season reopens in October.

As of Sept. 17, Gambia has 3,428 COVID-19 cases and 107 deaths.

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