By MUHAMMED .S. BAH
Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) on Friday 8 April, 2016, held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) at its Kerr Jula domicile in Bijilo.
This AGM, which was attended by the GCCI members comprising small, medium and large businesses in the country, witnessed the presentations, discussions and adoption of the Annual, Financial and Auditors reports.
As part of the agenda, elections were also held to replace 4 board members, including the position of 1st Vice President, to serve the term three years.
In presenting the Annual Report, Mr. Muhammed M. Jagana, GCCI President, highlighted the activities undertaken by the association in the preceding year and noted the achievements made as well as the constraints experienced.
Mr. Jagana said since their election to the board, they have been working closely with members in repositioning and rebranding of the Chamber for it to be the true voice of business in the Gambia.
“Through our various engagements with government, ministries and agencies, we have been able to discuss many issues of concern to all parties. We also used the opportunities to enhance public – private sector dialogue and we have had very successful forums that were well attended and we are fully committed in strengthening this to the highest level,” said the GCCI President.
Mr. Jagana disclosed that they have been engaging the government as partners on issues that affect businesses in the Gambia such as the foreign exchange rate and shipment, fortnightly set-settal or cleaning, fuel prices, taxation, cost and access to finance, energy cost, renewable energy among others.
“Whilst we may not see immediate results, I can assure you that both sides are resolute in achieving win-win solution,” said the GCCI President.
He also highlighted some of the challenges being faced by the Chamber, particularly the non payment of membership subscription and of which the large business entities are the main defaulters.
He also noted the several missions that have been welcomed by GCCI at their Kerr Jula headquarters, including those from multilateral institutions such as the African Union (AU), International Monetary Funds (IMF), and many other foreign representatives.
The President explains in detail a lot more other important activities such as the Trade Fair and many other activities.
Mr. Jagana also reported on the piece of land allocated to GCCI by the government for purpose of staging trade fairs.
During the ensuing discussions, the GCCI members raised the issue of the border closure and the need for the authorities to reach a lasting solution.
The event was chaired by Mrs. Sarata Conateh, Secretary to the GCCI board.