‘Way paved for Gambian creative industries to access global markets’

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By Alagie Manneh

A way has been paved for Gambian creative industries to access the global market to showcase and sell their products.

Under a local initiative dubbed Yobaal – a Wolof word for ‘gift’ – 100 creative industry businesses, selected based on ready-made quality created Gambian products, will be exhibited through an e-commerce website that provides global access to the country’s creative industries.

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The initiative will target and pave the way for fashion designers, craft workers, handicrafts, photographers, videographers, authors, poets, and musicians.

The contribution of travel and tourism to the local economy in recent times accounted for more than one-fifth of the country’s GDP. In 2019, it accounted for about 20.8 percent.

“This highlights an immense interest in local products and services by international travelers,” said Fatim Badjie, the CEO of Ace Communications Executive (ACE) which created the platform.

The UK, The Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, Belgium, and Spain are among Gambia’s top suppliers of tourism, and some of the largest foreign contributors to the country’s GDP.

Ms Badjie, in a Standard interview, said the platform, in the pipelines for years, will be marketed throughout these regions, and will target Gambians living abroad in other regions such as the United States. She said the country’s creative industry has struggled for far too long, as it lacks a recognised platform where these products can be exhibited and marketed.