Gambia has for the first time held a Chief Executive Officers’ conference
(CEOs) on the theme: Connecting and Creating National Development.
The event was held on Tuesday at Labranda Coral Beach and Resort at Brufut and was graced by heads of business institutions in The Gambia and America.
Abubacarr Ba Tambadou, the minister of Justice said the conference could not have come at a better time as government is embarking on improving fiscal public investment, debt management and financial viability of service delivery in the energy and ICT sectors among others.
“The reforms of the National Development Plan (NDP) provide opportunity for the private sector to explore partnerships and create businesses that would respond to the challenges of the reforms,” he said.
He added that the event is the gathering of captains at industries and the business communities, pointing out that the capacity building s geared at providing a platform for experience, knowledge sharing and networking among business leaders, policymakers, financial institutions and entrepreneurs in the country to foster economic growth through private sector participation in sharing economic activities.
Badara Joof, the minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, expressed delight for the programmes – that is being conducted for the first time in our history. He added that it is part of his ministry’s mandate to bring together CEOs and implementers together to discuss the development of the National Development Plan.
“The CEOs play important role in terms of contributing to the economic, the enabling environment that should be created for investment, the role that the private sector needs to play and sensitise the people.”
Mr. Joof said consensus building is important for the operationalisation of government’s plan. He added that CEOs have a very important role to play when it comes to land management, investment management and human resources management, “and they are in the frontline when it comes to private sector development.”
Alhagie Bakary Touray, the CEO of Sahel, said the Gambia is going through a transition out of dictatorship to a democratic government.
“There is consensus at all levels of importance of sustainable economic growth as a means to ensure a peaceful and successful transition.”
He added that the new administration that include CEOs, are faced with a dying economic situation that was inherited from the previous government.
“The NDP identified public private partnerships as critical institutions of the plan. This opens a window of opportunity which includes the private sector, particularly new entrepreneurs that will be able to collaborate in the implementation of the plan.”