‘Now is the time to come home, invest’ – Sahel Presi tells Diaspora

Friday, December 29, 2017

Oumie Batchilly, president of Sahel Public Relations has urged the Gambian Diaspora to come back and invest in the country, as the new found freedom has brought along immeasurable opportunities they can take advantage of.

Speaking at The Gambia Diaspora business networking dinner event held this week, Mrs. Batchilly said their efforts are meant to encourage the Diaspora Gambians to come home and invest.

“I know for some people it is not easy to pack up and leave… It takes a lot of sacrifice because you have to forgo your work and earnings in the Diaspora to come and make a fresh start here,” she maintained.

The theme of the event was “Network to know your net worth” and it brought together those Diaspora Gambians already doing business on the ground, as well as those who are thinking of returning. They interacted to share experiences and ideas.

The Gambia government has dedicated a month between December 2017 and January 15th to celebrate the country’s Diaspora – referred to as its eighth constituency.

Gambia has the second largest community living outside the country and this community contributes 22 per cent to the country’s GDP through remittances. They also played a key role in ending 22 years of dictatorship.

“We wanted to organise an event for our fellow Diasporas,” she told The Point. “While realising that our country needs all hands on deck to ensure proper development goals are achieved, we Diasporas have a major role to play,” she said.

“Being outside the country does not give us much leverage when it comes to monitoring developments in the country. It is such a comfort that we are trying to create through the networking in order to bridge the gap in coming back and investing, rather than just monitoring,” she explained.

Mr. Batchilly, who has invested in a business venture on the ground here since 2007 said the diaspora have ideas, goals, objectives and aspirations that they want to bring back to Gambia. 

“During the last few years, some left by choice and some had no other option but to leave. Now that the county is ‘Open for Business’, this is the time to take back ownership of Gambia and collaborate with those that stayed behind to reach our individual, personal goals and the goals we have for this nation,” she added.

The event was grazed by tens of Diaspora Gambian, some currently visiting while others are already based on the ground. They took hours to dine and discuss possibilities for a ‘New Gambia’.

Author: Sanna Camara
Source: Picture: Oumie Batchilly