State House, Banjul,: The First Lady, Madam Fatoumatta Bah-Barrow, attended the African Investment Forum hosted by the Invest Africa Forum (IAFT) in Istanbul, Turkey from the 10th to 13th June 2021. This year’s forum focused on “Improving Economic and Trade ties between Turkey and Africa”. Her Excellency the Vice President, Dr Isatou Touray led the Gambian delegation and delivered the event’s opening statement.
On the sidelines of the event, the First lady met with officials from the Turkish Chamber of Commerce and held talks with them. During this encounter, The First Lady expressed concerns over the existing barriers to the full realisation of women’s socio-economic potential in The Gambia, especially in sectors like Agriculture. They discussed ways to forge partnership to empower women.
The First Lady and her entourage then paid a visit to the University of Commerce, where they met with some Gambian students and university officials.
Madam Bah-Barrow seized the opportunity to lobby for the provision of full scholarships to Gambian students. In response, the Exchange Programme and International Office Coordinator of the University assured Her Excellency that the scholarship packages for Gambian students will be increased.
As part of engagements, the First Lady was also hosted to a meeting by NEGMAR’s chairman and his employees, one of whom was a Gambian.
In order to encourage more Gambians to venture into the shipbuilding business, NEGMAR offered ten University scholarships to potential students from The Gambia.
First Lady Bah-Barrow and her delegation also held a meeting with officials from the Ministry of Family Affairs. The meeting was an opportunity for the two institutions to form a partnership that will be geared towards supporting the First Lady’s foundation in its quest to help children with disability and those that are less fortunate.