By Lamin Cham
A few days after being declared winner of the Gambia-Afcon 2023 GSM partner, Qcell yesterday announced a whopping twenty-million two hundred- and fifty-thousand-dalasi package, out of which seven million in cash instantly went to the National Coordinating Committee directly.
Muhammed Jah, CEO of the QGroup, told a solemn signing ceremony at his headquarters that the awarding of this bid to his company is a long-cherished dream that rhymes with company’s mantra of being at the center of everything truly Gambian.
”This is what we always wanted. To be identified with worthy national causes. That’s why our involvement will not just stop at this sponsorship but we are also very much part of the NCC. We have intervened in many areas but this a very significant development about which we are very proud. We thank the NCC for choosing us from a competitive bidding process and the Gambian people for supporting and trusting Qcell throughout our journey,” Mr Jah said.
He assured the NCC that with this partnership, they will come to realise that they are now dealing with a serious and honest company that keeps its word and executes its part of the bargain diligently.
The CEO said the cordial working relations between the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Gambia Football Federation have produced many inspiring results such as a second successive Afcon appearance that must now graduate to the dream of taking Gambia to the World Cup. “We can do it. If Senegal with whom we share names, similar food and culture can go to the world cup, so can we,” Jah inspired the gathering who responded with a rapturous applause.
The Qcell boss said football is no longer the business for the public sector but that of the private sector because it is a serious business with massive returns, the biggest pay globally and therefore should be taken with seriousness.
Jah said the establishment of QCity sports complex was spurred by the need to bring about football infrastructure which was lacking around the country.
”Fortunately, today, the QCity complex and academy is now being replicated around the country with mushrooming of clubs and academies investing in similar projects,” he said. Mr Jah thanked the Gambia government and President Barrow for the leading role they play in the development of sports and football in particular.
”We in the private sector have always known that government cannot do everything all by itself and we are ready to do our quota,” he said. To wrap up what was good a day at office for him, the Qcell boss surprised the audience with a D100K donation to the Scorpions Fan Club and Qcell-designed balls to each member of the audience.
The chairman of the NCC and Sports Minister Bakary Badjie congratulated Qcell for winning the partnership bid and also for making it special by desiring to be part of the NCC which desire has been granted. “We are also delighted that Mr Jah has personally decided to travel to Afcon for the first match against Senegal. I want to call Gambians to triple their patronizing of QCell products to support what is Gambian,” he said.
Mr Badjie urged all Gambians to, in addition to monetary contribution, also give moral support.
The president of the Gambia Football Federation, Lamin Kaba Bajo, said they are excited about the partnership with Qcell and called on Gambians to follow the company’s example, and also highlighted that football is an expensive venture that requires the participation of all.