Banjul International Trade Fair 2024 Targets 400 Businesses

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By Nelson Manneh

The Gambia Women’s Chamber of Commerce (GWCC) in partnership with the Gambia Start-Up Chamber of Commerce (GSCC), on Thursday 30 May 2024, launched the Banjul International Trade Fair.

The GWCC, which serves as an inclusive entity in delivering economic opportunities for the development and empowerment of women through innovation, education, training, advocacy, linkages and mentoring, said the Trade Fair aims to target four hundred businesses. The GWCC said its core values on the Trade Fair will be based on professionalism, inclusivity and empowerment, adding that its members include GSCC which is a trade and business support organization, registered with Attorney General Chambers.

According to the GWCC, the Trade Fair scheduled to start from the 6th to the 31st of December 2024, aims to create space for start-up businesses and women entrepreneurs in The Gambia, to exhibit their products and services and network with other international vendors, that can help unlock their income potentials and boost the economic growth of their businesses.

Mr. Ismaila Badjie, head of programs at the National Youth Council (NYC), said entrepreneurship is the most sustainable means of creating employment, because it has great potential in addressing the root causes of irregular migration. He said the unemployment rate and the increase of migrant returnees has necessitated the inclusion of youth and women issues in the Green Recovery-NDP of the government; thus the need to create a conducive environment for their businesses to flourish.

“In terms of challenges, women in the business sector face many because female owned enterprises are less likely to register their businesses, and they also perceive tax rates and customs as greater constraints to business growth in the country, when compared to their male counterparts. Discriminatory practices in the inheritance and ownership of land and other properties, pose fundamental constraints for women entrepreneurs because this restricts their access to formal financing mechanisms,” Badjie said. 

He said the international trade fair will be a timely opportunity for women to network, discover sources of funding, share experiences and build new partnerships to enhance their entrepreneurial capacities.

Mr. Ousman Bojang, the Director of Trade at the Ministry of Trade, said Trade Fairs are an enormously important part of the marketing activities of most types of businesses, ranging from the largest multi-nationals Companies to small family businesses.

“This event is timely as it will enable start-up businesses to have the opportunity to explore and network with others. It will also increase networking, income and business exposure of entrepreneurs and as well build their capacities on product development, branding and marketing,” Bojang said. 

He said that his Ministry will continue to support young entrepreneurs and start-up businesses in their endeavor to venture into business as it is in line with the National Development Plan (NDP) of the Government.

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