president of the Republic, His Excellency Adama Barrow on Wednesday presided
over the opening of the TAF Africa Global 3rd Annual Conference and Networking
at the Coral Beach Hotel, formerly Sheraton Hotel at the Brufut heights.
The theme of this year’s event is; ‘Challenges and Opportunities in New Gambia-an Entrepreneurs Perspective’. The event attracted a diverse audience from all sector, alongside inspiration speakers of diverse background.
In his keynote address, President Barrow paid tribute to The Gambian born entrepreneur for his dedication and hard work to get to this level, saying the day is special especially it is taking place in New Gambia.
“We Gambians especially the business sector should look up to people like you. But I think the secret behind your success, is courage, confident and self belief. We congratulate you for your efforts, commitment and dedication to get to this level.”
President Barrow called on Gambians to change their mindset and work towards the development of the country, while inviting Gambians in the Diaspora to come home.
He expressed Gambian government’s readiness to create a friendly environment for all.
He continued: “We were together that is why we were able to defeat the dictator and I know if we maintain that spirit there is no doubt that The Gambia will succeed just like how China succeeded in 39 years. But that spirit of unity will make us strong. So I’m appealing to all Gambians and let’s forget about the past.”
The country’s development blueprint, he went on, has just been validated, the goal of which is to deliver good governance and accountability, social cohesion, national reconciliation and a revilitalised economy for the well being of all Gambians.
To achieve this goal, President Barrow calls for collective efforts by all Gambians and development partners to ensure the successful implementation of this plan.
The Gambian leader acknowledged that forums like this one are important for networking, adding that the provision of platform for youths and physical challenged as well as civil society organisations creates a strong pillar for all to participate in national development.
Earlier on, Mustapha Njie, the chief executive officer of TAF Africa Global, commended all the delegates, who made their way to the conference. He dilated on the theme of the conference, saying; “yes there are quite a number of opportunities, but there are challenges and that in order to be successful in achieving these opportunities we need to face and address those challenges.”
According to him, over the years he kept thinking about his retirement, and what next after retirement, but what comes to his mind is his corporate social responsibility.
‘Everything that I had in my life was given to me by The Gambia. I was trained, raised and made a name in The Gambia. So I think it is time to give back to The Gambia. So what we are doing now is part of our strategic on social corporate responsibility, where we give back to our country. So in giving back to our country, we are looking at extending our soft landing to the hundreds of thousands of Gambians who are willing to come back home, but are finding it difficult to be here.”
Welcoming the delegates, Ms. Ndey Isatou Njie, a retired United Nations official, expressed delight to welcome delegates to the networking conference, noting it is all about building partnerships that will play an important role in the development of the New Gambia. The partnership, she went on, will be in different forms – from knowledge sharing to learning information and for the implementation of projects and harnessing the capacity of Gambians across the globe to support the development agenda.
She described the event as a moment for celebrations of the country’s excellent human resource base, saying; “on the day-to-day basis, we are confronted with capacity challenges facing the country. But this is not the case today, as we have really seen what the country has to offer both at home and those in the Diaspora. We know the Gambia as world class professionals.”
These professionals, she went on, can out compete and deliver beyond expectation anywhere in the world, saying the coming of different delegates from various discipline makes the conference all the more exciting.
Other speakers include Dr. Karamo Sonko, president Jula Consultancy FZE, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates and Rene Carayol, a Gambian Diasporan inspirational speaker. The ceremony was graced by the vice president and minister of Women Affairs, Fatoumatta Jallow Tambajang, Cabinet minister among other senior government officials.