By MUHAMMED Sailu BAH
American Chamber of Commerce in The Gambia held its 5th Annual Business Dinner and Award Banquet night to award successful Gambian entrepreneurs and professionals both at home and in the Diaspora.
The event took place on Saturday, 28 November 2015, and was graced by the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, senior government officials, US Ambassador-Designate, representatives from the private and public sectors, entrepreneurs, AMCham staff, media, among others.
According to organisers, the event, which is part of the celebrations of Global Entrepreneurship Week, is meant to acknowledge, recognize and decorate Gambian enterprises, entrepreneurial personalities and projects that have impacted and continue to impact in the society by adding value to their products and services to create wealth and thereby alleviate poverty.
The Theme for this year is ‘The role of financial institutions in the development of the industrial, manufacturing and agricultural sectors of the economy’.
In his opening statement on behalf of the Central Bank Governor, Basiru Njie, Deputy Governor, said the theme of the event is a point of reference, adding that the financial system in the Gambia is dominated by small banks.
The deputy governor noted that the banking sector is small in both absolute and relative terms and highly segmented and that the major economic activity is the re-export trade.
Mr. Njie said agriculture is agreeably the most important sector of the Gambian economy and accounts for 20 percent of the GDP in 2014 and employing 32 percent of the labour force.
He also noted that the Gambia is a net food importer which partly informed the decision by the government of the Gambia to promulgate vision 2016.
Mr. Abdoulie Touray, President of AmCham, said the event will serve as an impetus for the further pursuit of excellence and to inspire the new generation to also pursue excellence.
Mr. Touray said it was President Theodore Roosevelt of the US who on his visit to the Gambia said “Do what you can with what you have where you are”.
The AmCham president added “This is exactly what we seek to optimize. We should therefore value our own as much as we cherish international awards.”
Some of those people who were awarded included Mr. Horace Reginald Monday Jnr, the first Gambian Central Bank Governor, who received a Laurete Award for Transformational Banking, Mr. Mustapha Njie (TAF), Laureaute Award for Architecture, Construction and Property Development, Attorney Pa Edi Faal, a Gambian/American legal practitioner, among many others.