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GCCI Business Awards Dinner set for tonight

May 22, 2015, 11:31 AM | Article By: Osman Kargbo

All roads lead tonight to Ocean Bay Hotel at Cape Point in Bakau, where the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) will hold a remarkable dinner in observance of its 22nd Edition of Gambia Business Awards (GBA) to acknowledge, recognize and reward Gambia’s best in business.

The occasion will bring together top government officials, highly placed international personalities and institutions with relevance to business or private sector development to raise the bar on special guests.

These include heads of international organisations related to business, such as Ecobank Group and other high profile dignitaries.

This year’s GBA gives prominence to The Gambia’s Golden Jubilee or 50-year of Independence Anniversary hence its theme: “Supporting Sustainable Enterprises”.

In respect of the occasion, the GCCI is honoured to dedicate and name this year’s corporate tables as ‘Late Momodou Baboucarr Njie’ (First GCCI President) ‘Late Mrs Alice Carr’ (First GCCI Female Member), and ‘Late Pierre W.F. Njie’ (First GCCI CEO). There are also tables named ‘Jula’ which makes provision for single persons.

Award Categories

This year’s award categories, as has been the norm over the years, are considered on the backdrop of the country’s national economic priorities and other emerging facets of the economy.

The categories included Young Entrepreneur of the Year; Service Provider of the Year; Partnership of the Year; Emerging Business of the Year; Agro-Processing Enterprise of the Year, and Sustainable Business of the Year.

National Business Plan Competition

The Awards Gala Dinner will also host the National Business Plan Competition Award 2015, a programme initiated and promoted by Gambia Investment and Export Promotion Agency (GIEPA), the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment (MOTIE) and the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI).

A package of D1.75 million has been allocated to be disbursed among the final winners of the award, with the first winner to receive D1 million, the second D500,000 and the third D250,000.

“It is actually the second round of the Business Plan Competition (BPC) but this is the first time it is going to be hosted by the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which shows we are in every sphere trying to promote entrepreneurship in this country,” says GCCI Business Manager and economist Sarata Conateh.

She says BPC would go a long way to promoting the level of growth of business start-ups, influencing better business practices and solutions, and serving as a source of inspiration for entrepreneurship promotion, as well as continually helping in the provision of seed money or capital to start businesses.

Business Profiles

According to GCCI, profiles of business nominees for the award include but not limited to name and type of business, year of establishment, business activities, reasons for being in business, successes in business, and business contact details.

The criteria for nominees take into consideration employment creation (growth rate); financial performance, innovation and competitiveness (product development and administrative efficiency); environmental impact assessment; corporate social responsibility; and tax compliance, the Chamber says.

GCCI is based on increased transparency, information sharing, clarity and inclusiveness, says Mrs Conateh.

“We do not compromise the award despite the good relationship we have with our members or companies,” she emphasizes, adding that the Chamber has set a reputable award council full of experienced personalities in the public sector, the business, legal, and education domains that conduct the selection process of nominees and winners.

Commenting on the criteria for selecting nominees and winners, CEO Alieu Secka says the system applied in the selection process has got “so improved that the majority of members of the private sector are happy” with the GBA process.

“We are happy that the most of the business community feels so good and happy about the whole process,” CEO Secka said, adding that there will always be dissenting views and some of those who could not make it would always express dissatisfaction.

The awards council set up by the GCCI is composed of academia, civil servants, and members of the private sector, excluding the GCCI, said a statement by the Chamber.

It added: “The award council will include members from the University of The Gambia, Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment, DT Associates, and the Gambia Bar Association. This team is also backed by a technical working group.

“The Business Development Unit will be the focal point for coordinating activities before, during, and after the event.”

Set to acknowledge, reward and encourage members of the private sector who have registered remarkable success in their areas of business, the GBA has become one of the most treasured annual activities of the GCCI, as it recognizes and rewards The Gambia’s best in business, as well as promote growth, product development and the country’s economy.

Sponsors and partners for this year’s GBA, which will commence at 7pm, are: Africell and BPI Tourism and Services, whilst the Partner-sponsors include GTBank, Unique Solutions and Ecobank.