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ECONOMYWATCH: Business Community gears up for GCCI National Awards

Apr 23, 2014, 9:59 AM | Article By: Osman Kargbo

All roads lead to the Kairaba Beach Hotel on Friday 2 May 2014 for people of various walks of life, especially members of the private and public sectors, to be part of the historic event of awarding Gambia’s best in business performance.

Members of the business community and, by extension, public institutions and parastatals the best of whom for the year 2013, will be named, honoured, recognized and awarded for their excellentexecution of corporate know how and contribution to The Gambia’s economic growth and development over the year.

Behind this laudable event is the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), which is the recognised interface between the Gambia Government and the Business Community hence serves a diverse community through the provision of services.

This year’s Business Awards will be held on the theme: “Building Partnerships”, which is in recognition of the significance of partnerships in business and the need to promote it.

The inspiration behind the theme is the continued need to advocate for the formation and strengthening of partnerships as a phenomenon that becomes a useful solution, to reiterate the benefits of coming together.

Special and distinguished guests have been invited to grace the occasion. These include His Excellency the President of the Republic of The Gambia, Sheikh Professor Dr Alhaji Yahya A.J.J Jammeh (who is Chief Patron of the GCCI), Managing Directors and CEOs of Companies, Leading Entrepreneurs, senior Government Officials, and Heads of International Agencies, Embassies, High Commissions and Civil Society.

Representatives of international institutions from far and wide, such as the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), Turkey, EXIM Bank and other corporate bodies, are expected to jet down The Gambia to witness the all-important event, which continues to gather momentum and attract the business world to The Gambia year after year.

Awards Platform

The awards to be won for the year 2013 include Young Entrepreneur(s) of the Year;Small and Medium Enterprises; Service Provider of the Year; Lifetime Achievement Award; Emerging Business of the Year; and Leading Business of the Year.

For the Young Entrepreneur(s) of the Year, nominees are considered on the basis of age of 35 years and below, equity contribution (and partnership), andbook keeping and banking. The Small and Medium Enterprises award considers book keeping and banking, being in business at least for three years, exploiting opportunities, and smart access to capital.

The Service Provider of the Year award looks at customer service, training budget in proportion to turnover, services to SMEs, quality of service, and coverage.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is considered on the basis of number of years in existence as a business, coverage, and social and economic impact on a specific cause.

The Emerging Business of the Year award looks at value addition, uniqueness of product/service, and growth potential, and the Leading Business of the Year award considers those businesses with a minimum turnover of D100 million, minimum of 250 employees, and minimum of 5 years in existence.

Awards Council

The various categories and criteria were developed by an independent Professional Council comprising the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment, University of The Gambia, Gambia Bar Association and DT Associates.

The council used the abovementioned criteria as a benchmark to measure all nominated businesses for the different categories, in addition to the following core areas: employment creation (growth rate), financial performance, Innovation and competitiveness (product development and administrative efficiency), environmental impact assessment, corporate social responsibility, and tax compliance.

Essence of the award

The Gambia Business Awards are a national, all-encompassing awards programme honouring organizations that demonstrate the core values of business excellence, product excellence, sustainability and commercial success in their respective industries.

Conducted annually, the Awards honour Gambia’s industry leaders through the acknowledgment of innovative business processes, product development, enterprise, sustainability and overall business success.

The Awards also recognize the important social and environmental contributions made by organizations through excellence of service, commitment to their customers, philanthropic ideals, ethical behaviour and environmental sustainability.

The objectives of the awards are to recognize excellence for remarkable performance of enterprises in the business sector, to create room for competition among businesses, promote best business practices and ensure a level-playing field for all businesses, to strengthen the Voice of the Business Community through the GCCI making an important contribution to building excellence, and to form and celebrate partnerships.


The benefits inherent in these awards are immeasurable as they form an invaluable asset for whomever or whichever company is opportune to get one.

Awardees are profiled for a whole year in all GCCI publications and foreign missions, to raise the image of deserving enterprises and business leaders in The Gambia.

Nominees and final winners can serve as Business Mentors for tenants of the GCCI Business Incubation Center

The MD of Lasting Solutions, which won the GCCI 2011 Enterprise of the Year Award, gave this testimony:“The award was timely as all of our orders were grievously prepaid but due to the trust our suppliers have in us after learning about the award, we now have up to 30 days to pay our suppliers in the UK and USA. This has greatly helped us to manage our cash flow better. The award also gave us the opportunity to visit Taiwan and signed an exclusive dealership with a UPS/Inverter and Solar energy company for Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Senegal and Mali…We thank GCCI for the wonderful opportunity.”

The CEO of Jorjo Organics shared this testimony: “Winning the GCCI TFG Award for “Best Made in The Gambia” products at the GCCI Business Awards Dinner in June 2012 was major turning point for Jorjo Organics. As the proprietress and recipient of the award, I was immediately put in the limelight and the business was given tremendous publicity, promotion and recommendation.

“The fact that heads of government institutions, NGOs and members of the private sector witnessed the event made it easier for us to approach them, afterwards, for advice, support and more exposure. To this end, I was chosen, along with two other Gambian entrepreneurs to accompany a high-level delegationfrom the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Employment (including the Minister, himself) to attend a Trade Fair in Izmir (Turkey) to showcase and promote‘made in The Gambia’ products.”

Pre-Dinner Innovations

There will be a Pre-Dinner cocktail at 6.30 – 8pm at Jama Hall B, where a convivial networking will also take place among corporate leaders, senior government officials and representatives of international organisations and agencies. Invited business leaders from India, Turkey and the sub-region would serve as the first business-to-business networking contacts, with sharing of information on innovative financial facilities and other relevant global trade opportunities.

CSR initiatives

The GCCI does not only serve Gambian businesses in various ways as well as contribute to the growth and development of the country’s economy; it also gives a helping hand to the needy and affected communities mainly from resources and proceeds it generates from its programmes and activities such as the Gambia Business Awards Dinner.

For instance, it recently donated D500,000 to the Gambian farmers through the government’s food aid basket, earmarked for the farming communities “that lost over 70 per cent of their total crop production during last crop season”.

It is all but essential for all to follow the roads that lead to the Kairaba Beach Hotel on Friday 2 May from 6.30pm for the Pre-Dinner Cocktail in Jama Hall to 8pm, when the Awards Dinner starts proper on the Garden space of the hotel.