EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) and partners today launched the 14th edition of the annual trade fair Gambia international, which is schedule from 21st March to 12th April, 2020.
The theme for this year’s edition is ‘GCC 2020-partner to progress.’ The annual trade fair seeks to promote and support young entrepreneurs in their entrepreneurial journey.
It also seeks to ensure ease of access to market, create networking opportunities and visibility for small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurs.
The chairman of the trade fair, Bajara Jabbie said GCCI have rolled out many projects to support women and youth in their bid to achieve their goals and aspirations. “We have also trained over 200 youths on Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB) modules across the country.”
Mr Jabbie said GCCI continues to actively pursue its commitment in promoting youth involvement and engagement through partnership with YEP, KONRAD, GIZ, government and other stakeholders. He said the need to prepare, equip and develop the capacity of youth for quality and meaningful participation in development cannot be underemphasised.
He said stalls will be allocated to participants on first come, first serve basis. On the side of the registration, he said the fees will be paid at any Guaranty Trust Bank and Trust Bank branches.
The chairman of trade fair Gambia international said they support youth and women empowerment by creating avenues for development and creation of business opportunities for young entrepreneurs.
“In the drive to promote partnership, GCCI emphasizes on the need to support businesses especially in the small and medium enterprises in accessing the export market. Figures from the private sector development strategy shows that small and medium enterprises constitute over 90% of the Gambian businesses community. Moreover, SMEs contribute to the creation of jobs, thereby reducing unemployment.”
Responding to some vendors who claim that the stalls are rented at high prices, GCCI chief executive officer, Alieu Secka said they have not increased the price of the stalls for the past four years, saying commerce industry is tirelessly working to make sure that people and their properties are secured.
He also revealed that GCCI has plans to extend the trade fair to Basse before end of the year. “We will decentralise it so that it is not only Banjul Chamber of commerce but the Gambia chamber of commerce. So, we will have an event in Basse at the end of the year. We had one in Farafenni. Many of other locations will come as well.”
Sarata Conateh, director of business development said one of the challenges they have been facing over the years is changing the mindset of the exhibitors who tend to believe that the trade fair is a money making venture.
“Every trade fair is not a sells fair. It is actually a trade fair where you exhibit to be known, give your ideas on how to improve your product and services and taste your products for the first time. All of these are steps towards improving your business and steps of having a better product and growing bigger. It is not always that you participate at the trade fair and come out with 100 or 200% profit inventory at the beginning,” she stated.
Trade fair Gambia international is a leading business exhibition event in The Gambia which creates a platform for enterprises to network and promote their goods and services to the public. This year, GCCI and partners are expecting over 450 participants including from the ECOWAS region, Europe and Asia.
Story written by Juldeh Njie