Dec 3, 2008, 5:45 AM
American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) yesterday held a daylong entrepreneurship
meeting for more than 100 Gambian women entrepreneurs and business
The meeting at Paradise Suites Hotel in Kololi was centred mainly on business and entrepreneurship, and it provided the participants the opportunity to discuss issues concerning their businesses.
Acting president of AmCham, Ndey Awa Ceesay, said the meeting comes hot on the heels of the recently-concluded democratic election in the country.
She pointed out that with the ongoing impasse that followed the election, all business operators are lamenting that the uncertainty is adversely affecting their businesses.
Therefore, she said, the meeting was a platform for the entrepreneurs to openly discuss the constraints they are facing as the political impasse continues.
“This platform, though not one of politics, should give us an opportunity to lend our voice in support of the great concerns of the day, which to all intent and purposes should advocate for peace and stability and due recognition of democratic process,” Ms Ceesay said. “It is only through peace that business will enjoy the conducive environment.”
The AmCham acting president said one of the lingering concerns of the chamber is AGOA, which has been benefiting members and non-members of AmCham.
Under AGOA, regular shipment of containers from Gambia carrying Gambian products to the US enjoyed preferential treatment. This enables the exporters to generate foreign exchange which they use to purchase goods from the US and ship back to Banjul.
“Since its demise, this has not been the case, and the few that endured to continue in a small way, struggled to have their shipments received on time when they arrive and some even lose the consignment due to the longer period,” Ms Ceesay lamented.
“In that case, we will engage the government to ensure that some of this pertinent issues needing urgent attention are addressed.”
The CEO of Gaye Njorro hairdressing, Fatou Gaye-Saine, said giving the fact that women are engaged in all sectors of development, they are arguably the movers of the Gambian economy.