By Aisha Tamba
The first edition of the Women’s Leadership Forum 2017 was held on Saturday with participants drawing more inspiration to encourage their colleagues to take up business ventures.
The forum, which attracted business entrepreneurs from diverse background was held at the Penchami hall at the Paradise Suites Hotel.
It was held under the theme “Making it Happen Together” and came after the successful launch of Leading Women Magazine-The Gambia, developed in partnership with The Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The magazine features the life journey of some incredible Gambian women and their inspiring participation in the country’s development, thereby giving them the much needed voice to be heard.
In her welcoming address, Fatou B Gaye, the founder and CEO of Bridging Gaps Advisory, noted that the forum was conceived by a team of professionals dynamic and hard working women through the support of hard working men, whose presence is quite evident.
She extolled the good collaboration that exists between them and The Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
“It is a widely known fact that women’s inclusion in economic, social and political activities drive development.The UNDP Gender Strategy Report has highlighted that gender inequalities are still deep-rooted in every society. In the Gambia where women make up approximately half of the population, their status greatly affect the country’s political,social and economic development. Women entrepreneurs, executives, government officials and civil society leaders are actively participating in various sectors of the economy,” she stated.
For his part, Mustapha Njie alias Taf, the chief executive officer of Taf Africa Homes, encouraged women entrepreneurs to be committed to achieving their target goals, recalling how he started his business from zero to becoming one of Africa’s finest engineers when it comes to housing development.
Taf challenged women entrepreneurs to be dedicated and up to the task, reminding them that they have a crucial role to play in the sucess of any business setup.
In her keynote address, Nancy Niang, the permanent secretary at the Office the Vice President, on behalf of the vice president and Minister of Women’s Affairs, undrscored the importance of the forum, which is designed to bring together women leaders from different background to learn, inspire, network, and share insights of how women in The Gambia can thrive personally and professionally.
She extolled the role of women in national development, further challenging them to unite to make a diffrerence in society.
PS Niang also encouraged women to take part in politics, acknowledging the fact that women’s inclusion in the economic and political activities drive development.