By Mamsait Ceesay
The Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) Friday held its annual Business Innovation and Excellence Awards 2022 to celebrate outstanding Gambian businesses and personalities in the country.
The event, which falls in line with the 30th anniversary celebrations of the GCCI, presented five category awards recognizing the Youth and Women entrepreneurship, Environmental Preservation, Fintech provider as well as Business Excellence.
Speaking on behalf of the GCCI Chief Patron President Adama Barrow (currently on a nationwide tour), the Minister of Works and Transport Mr. Ebrima Sillah reaffirmed “government’s resolve in creating the enabling environment for Gambian businesses to continue to flourish within and beyond our borders”.
Minister Sillah assured government’s continuous efforts to put in place mechanisms to prepare Gambian businesses through capacity building and access to funds to effectively compete within the sub region in the context of Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). He made reference to the “bond of partnership between government and the private sector through the GCCI” and expressed gratitude to the Chamber for coming forward to raise the much-needed funds, investing them wisely and appropriately to yield the desired results.
“I am confident that the bond of partnership will be a strong driving force to mitigate the circumstances surrounding the tough situation and provide for the Gambian people accessible and affordable prices for the needed essential commodities to make life easy for all”, Minister Sillah said.
Representing Governor of the Central Bank, the 2nd Deputy Governor Mr. Paul Mendy told the gathering that the establishment of the Capital Market in the Gambia “not only facilitates mobilization of long-term savings and investments, but also assist in price discovery in the case of traded instruments as well as to facilitate efficiency in the delivery of financial services”. Mr. Mendy noted the “tumultuous times” around the world, characterized by slowdown in economic growth, high inflation and a cost-of-living crisis. These, he said, are challenging times for Gambian households and businesses and equally for policy makers. In this regard, he assured Central Bank’s resolve to restoring macroeconomic stability, which has been the biggest asset for The Gambia.
The President of GCCI, Edrissa Mass Jobe, informed the gathering that the new GCCI constitution seeks to be abridger through which the private sector forges partnership with government, Civil Society and the community at large. Mr. Jobe disclosed intention to work closely with the donor agencies and Embassies to innovate and collaborate with different expertise to unleash the collective genius of young Gambians.
The vote of thanks was delivered by the new GCCI Chief Executive Officer Mrs. Sarata Conateh and the event was chaired by the famous Aziz Willan, assisted by Fanta Ceesay.