Jul 31, 2008, 6:30 AM
The Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), in partnership with the National Youth Council and the National Enterprise Development Institution, on Tuesday held a press briefing at the governor’s office in Brikama, West Coast Region.
Speaking at the briefing, Almami Fanding Taal, CEO of GCCI, said the purpose of the gathering was to share information with the general public on the forthcoming Marche Jula trade fair to be hosted in Brikama.
According to him, the theme for this edition is “Promoting sustainable youth enterprise and self-employment” with the aim to empower young people who represent the promise of changing the society for better, thus also helps young people facing serious barriers such as market access, decent jobs and are almost at the risk of social exclusion to have sense of belongings.
The objectives of this Marché Jula, according to Taal , are to expose youth enterprises, promote self-employment, showcase innovation in science and technology, display available skills, promote micro, small and medium enterprises, and complement trade fair Gambia and amongst others.
Persistent youth employment and underemployment carries very high economic costs and threatens the very fabric upon which our society is built, thus failure to generate sufficient private sector jobs can result in long lasting scarring effects on the young people, Mr Taal said.
He, however, stated that there is powerful reassertion of activism from the young who refuse to accept a future unemployment, marginal work and expensive poor quality education, ranging from social entrepreneurs to trade union leaders.
To him, GCCI listens, interacts and thinks together with young people to solicit their ideas and organize the 2nd edition of this mini Trade Fair called Marche Jula and actively engages other constituents of the tripartite, the government and trade unions in partnership to implement the activity successfully.
“We do not intend this to be a one-off affair but through social dialogue will continue reaching out to youths in dual role as business organization and as a government recognised employers’ association,” he added.
For his part, Lamin Sanneh, governor of West Coast Region, said Marché Jula is not a new phenomenon as it was launched in other municipalities few years ago.
He added that the initiative aimed at promoting and showcasing youth enterprises and development and the Government of The Gambia is committed to the empowerment of youths and women in this country. Marchel Mendy, executive secretary of the National Youth Council, said as council they partner with GCCI to promote youth enterprises and this gives unique opportunity for young people to exhibits their production in the forthcoming Nayconf.
According to him, there are quite a good number of young people who are doing something and this Marché Jula will avail them the opportunity to showcase their talents, skills and produce for marketing and networking.
Lamin Sanneh, coordinator of NEDI, said NEDI is primarily tasked to promote enterprise of young people and women and are appreciable to be associated with this initiative.
He said that over the years they have been engaging young people and women in this area across the country and partnering with this key institution in their endeavors.