Belgium Renews Partnership with Private Businesses in the Gambia
The President of Belgium Luxembourg Gambia Chamber of Commerce (BLGCC), Thomas De Beule is of the view that the private sector in The Gambia is getting bigger and more structured as he prepares for creating more visibility for them in Europe.
He was speaking to The Chronicle at the reception, last weekend which his chamber organized to create a networking session between the movers and shakers of business partners in both countries as well as public officials.
“It’s really our aim to let these two groups of people meet (Belgium and Gambians private sectors) and have discussions on ways to collaborate in win-win situations. As you can see it’s a mix of public and private officials and we are very happy with the turnout. The creation of the chamber basically is to network and to build a very strong relationship between Belgium and The Gambia,” he told The Chronicle.
De Beule said the partnership between the two counties has already paid dividend as one of their partners, a Belgium company, has already implemented a high-level project at the Banjul port.
“We are here to support what has been existing and the new things that are coming up. When we bring companies to The Gambia, we always let them focus on youths,” he said when asked about what package they have for the growing unemployment of young Gambians.
“Like at the moment we have a machine from a company called Appro-Techno (a brick company), they are a member of our Chamber and they have a project in Sanyang. That project will employ about ten youths that can do that project.
“We already discussed with the owner so that he can also give opportunities to smaller companies to rent machines from him so that they can also experience how to use these machines here and work with young people,” he said.
He said the private sector in the Gambia has seen significant progress and as their partner, they will create more visibility for them in Europe for diversification in collaborations.
“The Gambian private sector is getting bigger and it’s getting more structured and our aim is to highlight these new companies and the ones that have been here for many years. We will profile them in Europe so that when companies are interested to do business in The Gambia, we can link them with already well-established companies in The Gambia so that they can have partnership and get head start and work in cooperation.”
He assured that they will continue to work with Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) as well as its affiliates such as Gambia Youth Chamber of Commerce and Gambia Women Chamber of Commerce.
The BLGCC has signed a memorandum of understanding with Global Properties, a Gambian real estate company, in the areas of construction and proper management. Saul Fraiser, the proprietor of the company gave an insight to the MoU.
“The MoU basically means that we are representing them [BLGCC], regarding anything relating to construction and property development. Since then they have introduced quite a lot of people to us who are looking for those services.”
“And not only construction but also property management resort anything that has to do with real estate’s we are the one handling it on behalf of the chamber. We are very excited for something like that and we look forward to collaborating with them for many years to come,” he told The Chronicle.
He admitted to the high unemployment rate of young people in the country, describing ‘not pleasant.’
“The numbers are not pleasant at all. But what we are doing in our area is that we have been training quite a lot of youth especially in our Tujereng development project. We trained about 100 students who are from Tujereng on skills, meaning that you can come with zero skill and you can be trained to become a qualified mason, plumber or electrician, being a male or female.
“We take this very seriously and in all our projects that we do especially the communities that we develop. We make sure that we train people within that very community, he said.
The government of President Adama Barrow has emphasised the need for private sector participation in building the country’s weak economy as well as widening the scope of scary joblessness for almost most of the youthful population.