TAFCON Begins Today as Company Clocks 30
Taf Africa Global, a Gambian owned real estate company has commenced its annual TAF Conference on Tuesday, which coincided with the 30th anniversary of the company.
The conference, which is the fifth in five years, will wrap up Wednesday witnessing several panel discussions on critical issues confronting the economic progress of the country.
The CEO, Mustapha Njie, has expressed satisfaction on the impacts the company has created within the three-decade space in providing housing for many Gambians and Africans in general.
“TAF Africa Global which was a startup business in 1990 known as TAF Construction Company Limited has grown with over permanent staff. I was determined to succeed against all odds,” he told the conference participants.
Njie recalled certain point when the company decided to diversify into building materials supplies and carrying while carrying business as Taf Holding Company.
According to him, he was motivated by the beautiful estates that were built before he travelled and make a target of improving the living conditions in The Gambia.
“As such, I thought to replicate the same in The Gambia. In the year 2000, we entered into mass housing developments starting with Yarambamba with 208 low income housing unit and then with Brufut garden with 550 units.
“In 2004, we took the first giant step to venture out of The Gambia as we went into Senegal and Mali. Then in 2011, we signed our first major contract in Nigeria with River State government,” he stated.
He said TAF was confronted with several challenges but they ensured that they turned such challenges into opportunities.
“Firstly, access to finance. As a startup, 30 years ago, I started small by using my savings. We built credibility over the years which made us to have access to finance from the local and foreign partners,” he recalled.
“Secondly, human resources. We did not allow the limited supply of vocational skills in The Gambia to limit our success. We initially imported skills from Senegal. We have built the capacities of our staff and exchange personnel across the African continent,” he said.
In terms of relationship with African governments, he indicated that the company registered a lot of success and credibility thanks to the effective board they set up which satisfies the clients – governments and institutions.
“The future is still bright. Few years ago, we redefined out vision to build one million homes over the next twenty years which includes a minimum of one thousand housing each year in The Gambia.
He said they have already launched 5000 homes as part of the new vision.
“Two years ago we officially launched TAF Africa Foundation in order to have more structured and impactful results. We dedicated one percent of our total revenue to advance meaningful development and growth of the communities.
“The foundation have developed a series of initiatives targeting different members of the society particularly the youth which constitutes 66 percent of Gambia’s populace and the differently-abled people who are mostly ignored by the society at large.”
The TAF Foundation is currently running seven initiatives which include TAFCON, TAFSTARTUPS, TAF Leadership Academy Etc.
Meanwhile, the Startup competition that called for pitches from young Gambian startups has been won by Muhammed Jabbie, an agriculture venture. The runner up grabbed half a million dalasi while the third place secured D250,000. According to the company, the objective is to strengthen the financial muscles of the young entrepreneurs.
The Vice President, Isatou Touray hailed TAF for taking the cause of creating economic independence for the country, indicating that, private sector led growth is the engine for development.
“The principle of private sector led growth and our believe in the private sector as engine of economic growth will continue to be a fundamental national development pillar,” she said.
Touray assures government’s continuous position to drafting and adjusting responsive policies and strategies to support greater private sector participation in the domestic economy.