The Gambia International Trade Fair is increasingly recognised as a major platform to promote new businesses in many economic sectors, such as fashion and craft, agribusiness, IT, media, construction, food, tourism, beauty, and wellness. The 13th edition took place from 6th to 28th April 2019 in Banjul at the Stadium in Bakau under the theme: ‘Regional Networking and Youth Empowerment.’
The opening was combined with launching of TekkiFii (make it here) project and campaign –a new initiative of the government of The Gambia supported by the European Union. The project according to officials will significantly scale quality job and entrepreneurship opportunities available for young Gambians.
The project is a three year programme designed to provide job opportunities especially for youths in rural Gambia.
Speaking at the opening ceremony the vice president of the Republic of The Gambia, Dr. Isatou Touray said the initiative is meant to provide communities in the rural areas with relevant social and recreational facilities and activities with particular support to sports.
For example, is was noticed that many young entrepreneurs were missing out such events due to their lack of access to finance to rent the stand. Also, the lack of access to knowledge and info was minimising their potential contribution to the human and economic development of their country and shifting their interests and hopes away from the possibility of becoming entrepreneurs.
The Tekki Fii initiative was put in place in order to help the Gambian youth to express their full potential, by providing them with the knowledge and skills to take a business from the start to an established company.
For example, young entrepreneurs are encouraged and financially supported to get access to business fairs, where they can display their products, access to thousands of potential customers and achieve wider visibility for their businesses. Trainings are also offered on concepts like quality standards, packaging, and marketing, communicating, enabling the young entrepreneurs to become more proactive, competitive, and to strengthen their managerial and entrepreneurial competences.
As the youth participation to the business fair increases, young entrepreneurs have easier access to the markets and are increasingly recognised as the engine for the future of their country.