The Chronicle Gambia

GYCC Launches Trade Fair for Young Entrepreneurs

The Gambia Youth Chamber of Commerce (GYCC) has launched its second edition of Youth agribusiness and tourism expo on Tuesday at the Independence Stadium in Bakau with the goal of promoting local entrepreneurs in marketing their products.

Over two hundred stalls are currently being displayed, selling various home-made products including agricultural-processed packages, local foods, locally sewn wears, beaded items, shoes and medicinal soaps etc.

In a statement, the president of GYCC board, Ismaila Sambou, said the idea is to acquire the talents of the young Gambians in diverse sectors of the economy around the country.

“This is in line with the GYCC’s strategy 2017-2020 to tackle the root causes of irregular migration through increasing job opportunities for youths,” he said.

With 41.5 percent of youths unemployed in the country, many young stars plus some returned migrants have found entrepreneurship as their safe haven.

“Whatever they are doing, I want to tell you that is in line with the government’s blueprint. They are creating decent employment for young people and at the same time contributing to economic growth of this country,” said the deputy permanent secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Suteh Jawo.

“Although the current generation of African entrants to the labor force is the most educated ever, many are finding that their prospects for employment and earnings differ very little from those of the older generation, says Ms Moshibudi Rampedi, FAO country representative.

The International Labour Organization (ILO, 2006) estimates that, in Sub-Saharan Africa, three in five of the total unemployed are youth and on average 72 percent of the youth population live on less than USD 2 a day.

“As with the rest of the African continent, youth unemployment and underemployment are increasingly becoming an alarming challenge for most West African States,” she said.

She stressed FAO’s continuous role in facilitating market linkages and ensuring that policy dialogue platforms are established, as well as putting in place operational processes that enable goods demanded by the market to be of the desired quality and quantity.

“In this context, facilitation strategies include supporting organisation of market events such as trade and seed fairs, exchange visits, contract farming arrangements to enable active trade between farmers and consumers of agriculture produce.”

Speaking on behalf of the sponsors including GIZ, an organisation he led in the country, Fabio Germano said the trade fair is in line with the European Union’s ‘Tekki-fii’ vision and objectives.

Ms Moshibudi Rampedi, FAO country representative visits a vendor

“You have become truthful and credible messengers of the ‘Tekki-fii’ vision, spelling out to all the youths in this country that it’s definitely possible to make it here in The Gambia. That the country can offer opportunities for young people to use their entrepreneurial abilities to generate products and services that can earn them a decent living,” he told the gathering.

The Vice President of Gambia Women Chamber of Commerce (GWCC), Fatou Sinyan Mergan emphasised that through strong partnerships and effective collaboration with the government, the private sector will support economic transformation and growth of the country.

“trade fairs are a great way to meet prospective new clients and it’s for this reason that we are excited to expose our members to this expo. Therefore, it’s only effective economic transformation that will help us develop capacities and businesses to strengthen our ability to trade more within African continent and the wider world at large,” she said.

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