By Olimatou Coker
The Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) has on Wednesday launched 15th Trade Fair Gambia International 2022.
The event was held at the GCCI office in Bijilo under the theme: “Accelerating intra-Africa trade for the realization of AfCFTA through Innovation.”
This year’s trade fair will be held from the 26th February to 20th March at the new GCCI national trade fair ground in Brusubi.
The TFGI is the leading business exhibition event in The Gambia which creates a platform for enterprises to network and promote their goods and services to the public. It also poses an opportunity for businesses to sell, partner and invest in viable SMEs from various sectors.
The previous trade fair saw over sixty thousand visitors within three weeks and this year it is expected a surge in visits.
Speaking, Bajara Jabbie, chairman of trade fair at the GCCI, said they are expecting to record over 450 participants including participants from the ECOWAS region, Europe and Asia.
He said they were able to secure a grant from Africa Development Bank for additional 180 tents.
“The GCCI is committed to ensuring ease of access to market, creating networking opportunities and visibility for SMEs and entrepreneurs in the continent. We support youth and women empowerment through skills development and creation of business opportunities for young entrepreneurs. Over the past years, GCCI has conducted several training sessions for young entrepreneurs on entrepreneurship/ management skills, cutting across all sectors,” Chairman Jabbie added.
He noted that in the previous trade fair, a youth pavilion was created with support from the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP), to promote young entrepreneurs’ participation.
Mr Jabbie said the GCCI remains and will continue to support young entrepreneurs to exhibit their full potential thereby contributing their quota to National and Economic Development of the nation.
“In the drive to promote international and Regional Trade, GCCI also emphasizes on the need to support businesses especially in the Small and Medium Enterprises in accessing the export market. Figures from the private sector development strategy shows that small and medium enterprises constitute over 90% of the Gambian businesses community”, Mr Jabbie disclosed.
He also added that SMEs contribute to the creation of jobs thereby reducing unemployment.
Participants raise concern about toilets, water, electricity backups, praying ground as well as security for this year’s trade fair as it will be held at the GCCI new trade fair ground at Brusibi.
In responding to the calls for concern from the participants, Mr Jabbie said all arrangements to ensure a successful 2022 trade fair are in place and their officials are ready to attend to any issues, concerns and suggestions regarding the fair.