GCCI Launches First National Tobaski Wanterr Trade Fair

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By Sariba Manneh

As part of efforts to create conducive environment for every thriving business in the country, the Gambia Youth Chamber of Commerce (GYCC) together with the Gambia Market Union (GMU) and Gam United Breeders Association (GUBA), launched the National ‘Tobaski Wanterr’ Trade Fair at the GCCI Kerr Jula office in Bijilo on Thursday, May 9, 2024.

According to the organizers, the pilot trade fair aims to ensure that people who usually sell outside the market areas during feasts, are given suitable places to sell and for people and vehicles to move easily.

The National Tobaski Trade Fair is expected to empower youth, women and other businesses by promoting sustainable practices and driving economic empowerment. The event’s theme is: “Sustainable growth in challenging times: supporting micro, small and medium enterprises; a Gambian perspective.”

Theresa S. Diarra, the Director of Operation and Membership at GCCI, said the initiative underscores their commitment to foster economic growth and development in the Gambia, adding that GCCI as the private sector’s umbrella body, will continue to support events that showcase entrepreneurial skills and innovation within communities.

“The Youth Chamber of Commerce, as an affiliate to the GCCI, plays a vital role in nurturing young entrepreneurs and driving economic progress,’’ Ms. Diarra said. She said the National ‘TobaskiWanterr’ Trade Fair provides a unique platform for businesses to showcase their products and services, forge new partnerships and explore innovative ideas.

Neneh Gulo Bah, Senior Vice President of GYCC also emphasizes the importance of the ‘Wanterr’ Trade Fair.

“This trade fair holds immense relevance in showcasing its impact on accelerating development results, while this milestone achieves more effects and needs that private sector contributors, market unions, government, local government authorities and partners in breaching developmental gaps and create sustainable opportunities,” Ms. Bah said.

Malanding B. Jabang, Secretary General of Gambia’s Market Union, said the initiative’s goal is to stop people from encroaching on roads during the feast to disturb the free movement of people and vehicles. He reiterated that avenues must be created for businesses to flow normally in order to empower the business community.

“We welcome this initiative because it will help us maintain our free streets. I am pealing to all who want to sell their products during Tobaski, for them to join us at the GCCI trade fair grounds in Brusubi.”

Babucarr Jeng, Secretary General of Gam United Breeders Association, said sheep breeders’ annual Tobaski ram sales is their biggest income-generating event, and said at GUBA, they see the event as an opportunity that eliminates the challenges they face, especially in terms of security.

“GUBA will install a vex stall which will ensure that buyers are secured when buying, and will ensure that the livestock they buy are of good health,”Jeng said.

The ‘TobaskiWanterr’ Trade Fair will be held at the GCCI trade fair grounds from June 1st to June 16th and is open to all local businesses.