GYCC, GWCC Agribusiness Tourism Trade Fair Opens with a Call to Support Local Businesses

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Dignitaries and Participants at the Event

By Fatou Dahaba

On Wednesday, the Gambia Youth Chamber of Commerce (GYCC) partnered with the Gambia Women’s Chamber (GWCC) to kick start the 5th edition of the National Youth and Women in Agribusiness and Tourism Trade Fair 2023 at the Independent Stadium, Bakau, with a call to support local business to contribute to the country’s socio-economic development.

The 25-day expo brings together over 300 exhibitors across the Gambia, with 85 percent of Gambia youth and women entrepreneurs and 15 percent from the sub-region.

The trade fair provides market space for MSMEs to recover from the impact of COVID-19, sustain their business, and provide employment opportunities for others.

During the trade Fair, GYCC and GWCC will promote agribusiness products made in Gambia, tourism, and culture through creative industrial sectors by Gambian youth.

The Minister of Youth and Sports, Hon. Bakary Y. Badgie, reaffirms the government’s commitment to supporting young entrepreneurs while citing a financial loan and grant scheme for 30 youth businesses.

Minister of Youth and Sport Bakary Badjie

“The trade fair will potentially promote local businesses and expand network I among local business industries.”

The Acting Chief Executive Officer of GYCC, Fatima Muloshi, outlined the importance of empowering businesses that translates to building strong economies through the promotion of trade, industry, and agricultural productions towards maximizing economic resources for improved stability and growth.

The Acting Chief Executive Officer of GYCC, Fatima Muloshi

“Thus, both chambers focus on building competencies and expanding opportunities for youth and women businesses, especially for those within the SME sector through business development services, access to finance, networking, improvement of standards, marketing, and export promotion of made in the Gambia product,” She told the Fair.

She lamented the challenges of unemployment, irregular migration, inadequate economic resources, inflation, and political instability. She said it requires innovative ideas and should be accompanied by continuous collaboration, partnership, and shared learning to enable investment in the most productive sector of the economy.

Naffie Barry, President of GWCC, said the purpose of the trade Fair is for participants to network and, most importantly, to export potential.

Naffie Barry, President of GWCC

She said: “One opportunity for you and women entrepreneurs is AfCFTA. Many business owners complained about the lack of a market and the country’s size, but ECWAS has guaranteed us 300 million for a possible market. Therefore, you should work on your products and move forward.”

Ismaila Sambou, President of GYCC, said agribusiness remains an integral sector that has participated immensely, especially in capacity-building services, coaching, and access to finance inclusive of the capacity in good entrepreneurship practices, processing, packaging, standards, and digital marketing with the support of both national and state partners.

“The sector’s crucial contribution to our economy is underpinned by its contribution in reducing hunger, strengthening the rural economy, creating jobs, augmenting exports, and generally enhancing stable and faster GDP growth. We therefore kindly solicit more financing of youth-related businesses in the agribusiness sector and extended guidance, which is much needed.”

Babucarr Sallah, ITC rep, says the event is a testament to a platform that provides and facilitates connections and fosters commerce among diverse entrepreneurs from the Gambia and the sub-region.

“It’s a convergence where innovation meets opportunity, propelling products and services into the market space.”

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