By Olimatou Coker
The Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) on Wednesday held a Made in Gambia forum at the OIC.
The forum was designed to enhance the quality, durability, and export value of Gambian products, with particular attention to increasing investment in different productive sectors expected to increase decent jobs among Gambian women.
The forum, exhibition, and B2B the theme is “building and promoting strong made in Gambia brands” bringing together the private sector, government, and relevant development partners to discuss and proffer workable strategies to improve the consumption and patronage of locally-made products and services to drive exports to boost brand identity of locally made products.
Sarata Conateh, the Chief Executive Officer of the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: “This forum is not just an ordinary gathering, it’s a dedicated and deliberate effort to enhance the quality, durability and sustainability of products made here in The Gambia with a special focus on creating new opportunities for Gambian women”.
“Our focus is not just on crafting remarkable items but ensuring that this creation carries the essence of quality, sustainability and also more importantly brand identity that will make them stand out in the international market.”
Mandisa Mashologu, the UNDP country representative, said this initiative holds tremendous importance as it provides women with a platform to deliberate, discuss and receive mentorship on how to enhance and promote the utilization of locally made products.
“The ideas and networks formed here will undoubtedly empower women to make meaningful contributions to their societies and inspire more women to confront business challenges, initiate solutions, employ innovative thinking, and take leadership roles in the business arena,” she said.
“The made in Gambia forum for women serves as a vital national partner with a mandate not only to empower women but all Gambians in building and promoting locally made products.”
Fatou Dampha, enterprise development officer at the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare, said the government recognizes the challenges faced by women in the entrepreneurship sector of this country, especially in accessing financial services and a market to sell Gambian branded products.
“Women make up more than half of the Gambian population. Over the years, advancing gender and participation has been challenging”.