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GCCI launches business formalisation to boost Gambia’s economy

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By Fatou Saho

The Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), in collaboration with the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Friday launched a new business formality to boost The Gambia’s economy.

Speaking at the launch of the new business formalisation platform held at the Bakadaji Hotel, the minister of trade, Baboucarr Joof, said the platform is designed to support the inclusion of the country’s informal sector into the formal economy.

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“It is no doubt an important initiative as the informal sector accounts for 58 percent of GDP and about 76.7 percent of total employment, making it the main source of employment in The Gambia,” Minister Joof said.

He said the formalisation of the informal sector would make it possible to account for their contribution to the economy, which has either been underestimated or excluded.

“Unless they become part of the economy, it will be difficult to provide the necessary support for their growth,” he said.

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Julia Senghore Kazagui, a senior specialist for employers’ activity at the ILO, said the ILO is currently implementing measures boosting post-Covid-19 economic recovery and resilience in The Gambia, through the formalisation of informal enterprises and their workers.

“The ILO’s recommendation on the transition from the informal economy calls on member states to design and integrate strategies to facilitate the transition and recognises the need to address the diversity of situations and specificity of national circumstances,” she noted.

The GCCI CEO, Sarata Conateh, said formalising businesses is “not just a legal requirement but a way to economic recovery and resilience”.

She said it is also a catalyst for economic growth, job creation, and empowerment by providing entrepreneurs and enterprises with the tools and guidance they need to navigate the complexities of formalisation.

“We open doors for opportunities; let us embrace the platform, leverage its capabilities, and work towards creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem that empowers individuals and propels The Gambia towards a brighter future,” she said.

She said the project aligns with the National Employment Policy and Action Plan, 2022-2026, which sets an ambitious agenda of creating 150,000 jobs over the next five years.

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