GYCC, GWCC launch 2023 Trade Fair
By Cherno Omar Bobb
The Gambia Youth Chamber of Commerce (GYCC) in partnership with the Gambia Women’s Chamber of Commerce (GWCC) on Tuesday launched the 5th Edition of the National Youth and Women in Agribusiness and Tourism Trade Fair 2023 at GIZ Gambian-German Advisory Centre Cconference Centre.
The Trade Fair is expected to bring togther 350 exhibitors with 85% Gambian youth and women enterpreneurs and 15% from the sub-region.
The theme for the event, to take place from 1st December to 25th December 2023 is: ‘Connecting Gambian MSMEs to the 1.6 billion free market through the existing opportunities in the AfCFTA’.
The Trade Fair is expected to provide market space for MSMEs to recover from the market impact of the Covid-19 and recent and emerging crises such as the Russia-Ukraine war coupled with series of military coup d’etat in Sub-Saharan Africa and sustain their business and provide employment opportunities for others that lost their jobs due to the menace.
During the Trade Fair, the GYCC and GWCC will promote agribusiness products through Made in Gambia, tourism and culture through creative industrial sectors, among others by young Gambians.
Binta Khan Badjie, board member of GWCC, in her remarks on behalf of her president, said MSMEs are the backbone of the Gambian economy and the engine of growth for inclusive and sustainable development.
She added that the lack of adequate and readymade market opportunities for African MSMEs especially Gambian women and youth entrepreneurs pose some serious gaps in terms of economic growth. Therefore, she added, it was critical to provide such market platforms and opportunity that brings together businesses in The Gambia and the sub-region for networking and economic growth.
Madam Khan Badgie called on all partners especially the government of The Gambia and other private sector players to come forward and support the trade fair.
Mariama Sima, programme officer for advocacy and communications at the National Youth Council, said addressing food security concerns should be a key priority for everyone.
She therefore called on GYCC and partners to challenge the young people to take part in agribusiness and agricultural activities for a sustainable life and development.
According to her, NYC, the Ministry of Youth and Sports and all other satellite institutions are committed to supporting young people in agriculture, entrepreneurship, and related youth empowerment endeavours for the national and economic development of the country.
“To address youth unemployment challenges, we need to embrace agriculture and entrepreneurship which are the key sectors that can address the problem in the country,” she said.
Baboucarr Kebbeh, chief executive officer of GYCC said one of the key bottle necks for MSMEs in The Gambia is the cost of rent for their business premises.