NAYCONF impacting businesses in Banjul
By Sulayman Waan
As the National Youth Conference and Festival (NAYCONF) gathered over two thousand young people across the country, business persons and hotel owners have said the youth gathering has improved their business activities due to Banjul hosting the NAYCONF.
The youth gathering also comprises various sports activities including football, volleyball, athletics competitions, and draught. These games have attracted several spectators which increased the number of people in the city.
However, Mamos media has been monitoring the trade activities within the city since the beginning of the 2022 national youth gathering and discussed with business persons.
Speaking to this medium at the gate of Saint Augustine, Adama Jallow, a vendor of bananas, oranges, groundnut and other fruits said the importance of the NAYCONF to her business cannot be over-emphasized. She noted that the youth gathering is absolutely booming her business beyond anticipation.
“Left to me alone this event will not stop because my business is booming and anytime I bring goods these people will buy all in a short period,” she said.
Mrs. Jallow said since the youth week-long event started she sold more products compared to previous days. She is optimistic about her business growth before the end of the event due to the good market provided to her by the event.
Mama Darboe, another fruit and groundnut vendor said the event has immensely boosted her petty business compared to previous days.
“My business is going well because normally if schools close I will not sell on weekends but now I am selling on weekends because I believe my business will boom due to a large number of people in the area,” she said.
She added: “I expect to sell more before the end of the event. This programme is good and I am happy.”
Muhammed Sissoho, Managing Director of Carlton Hotel along independence drive described the NAYCONF as a great opportunity for his hotel. He admitted that hotels in Banjul often experienced scarce customers, but NAYCONF provided them with enough customers and is boosting their businesses.
“The hotel has 18 rooms and NAYCONF is occupying ten rooms which is a plus for us. Normally we will stay a month without giving out ten rooms but thank God that all the rooms have been occupied because of NAYCONF. “I wish the event is extended to two or three months,” he added.
Mr. Sissoho said the money earned from the NAYCONF would obviously contribute immensely to the development of the hotel, noting that it will help them to do some renovation and purchase other important materials for the hotel.
Jainaba Jallow, Deputy Managing Director of Princess Diana Hotel said: “Since the NAYCONF started we have lots of benefits from it because many of their participants are lodged here.”
Ms Jallow noted that 42 guests have been lodged in the hotel occupying 21 rooms for about seven days. She added that the hotel is making lots of money from the national youth gathering.
“I understood that the event is just one week but I wish it is prolonged to two or three months so that we earn more money,” she said.
Ms Jallow said lodging such a number of guests will enable them to earn much money and then use it in the development of the hotel such as renovations and buying valuable materials for the facility to ensure standardization.