Jun 16, 2008, 6:07 AM
This developmenat was disclosed at a press briefing held at the Independence Stadium yesterday.
Sunday was also designated “Senegal Day” at the trade fair grounds.
Beatrice Prom, GCCI public relations manager, told members of the press: “We called you to say we were going to close the fair, but by popular demand including participants from Senegal, we have decided to extend the fair for another week; so we will close next week Sunday.”
Speaking at the briefing, Sulayman Joof, a member of GCCI’s board of directors, said it was a pleasure to welcome the Ambassador of Senegal and his delegation, and he asked the participants from Senegal “to feel at home” because Gambia is a second home to the Senegalese.
Joof said Gambia and Senegal were destined to be one people, one nation and one family.
“We speak the same language, we have the same geographical and socio-cultural ties,” he said.
Trade Fair Gambia International, he explained, is the 8th edition and the aim and objective of the trade fair is to showcase the products and talents within the business community in the country.
“Without showcasing what we have and exposing our business people, we as a nation cannot know the potential, as well as the business activity of our people because some are in their homes and some are in their villages.”
The Ambassador of Senegal, Salieu Ndiaye, in his remarks, said everything the Gambians and Senegalese could produce, ranging from foodstuffs to other items, could be found at the trade fair.
He thanked the GCCI for organizing Marche Jula, a mini trade fair also organised by the chamber.
“Senegal and Gambia are the same, but for the Whiteman who separated us, and The Gambia speaks English while Senegal speaks French as official languages,” he said.
He thanked President Yahya Jammeh and President Macky Sall, “who are there for each other; that is why the Gambians and the Senegalese should also be there for each other.”
He said a trade fair is to bring on board everybody who is in the act of providing a service or producing food, to showcase them.
He also thanked and encouraged the Senegalese people for participating at the trade fair.
“This will foster the existing relationship between the two countries,” he added.
Daouda Badjie, a member of the Senegalese delegation to the trade fair, said that among the delegation they have Malians, Burkinabes, Beninois and Nigerians, who are all there for the trade fair.
“If you are at the trade fair you must sell, but the most important thing is to make contacts.”
He knew everyone at the trade fair has important contacts, he said, adding that they are praying to God for the trade fair to grow bigger and more popular with more international attraction.
Momodou Drammeh of GIEPA, in his statement, said: “This is a Senegambia thing, because what belongs to Gambia also belongs to Senegal. The Gambia and Senegal know that it is only politics that divide us.”
They are praying to God for the relationship between the two countries to go from strength to strength, Mr Drammeh added.