By Muhammed S. Bah
The Gambia Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (GCCI) on Wednesday, 4 May, 2016 held a forum at its ‘Kerr Jula’ complex in Bijilo to sensitise employers on the laws dealing with labour, tax, social security and women, among others.
The forum, which was attended by GCCI board members and staff, government officials, representatives of businesses as well as the ILO, among others, also witnessed the launch of two books entitled ‘Taxation Guide in the Gambia’ and the ‘Employer’s guide on the Labour Laws of the Gambia’.
In his opening statement, Sulayman M. Joof, GCCI board member and Chairman of its Employers’ Committee, said this is the first activity under the framework of the 2015-2016 work plan developed by the Chamber.
He said as part of their resource moblisation efforts, they have sent a proposal to the International Labour Office (ILO) for support and also thanked Madam Julie Kazarki and her office for financing the publication of the two books to be launched.
Mr. Joof said the two books will go a long way in assisting employers on the information needed in the labour market and tax laws.
He also underscored the importance of the strategies on the new technology used by GCCI to provide relevant information to their members, such as using social media and the introduction of a GCCI application which can be downloaded on cell phones and can be used as a research tool.
“In collaboration with Amie Bensouda & Co, a leading legal consultant, and the Alternative Dispute Resolution Secretariat, GCCI intends to set up a Commercial Mediation Center in response to the slow rate at which some labour cases are dragged in court,” he disclosed.
He concluded by urging participants to share the knowledge gained in the training.
In his remarks, Francios Murangira, ILO Country Team Director and Country office Director for Cabo Verde, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau and Senegal, hailed the GCCI for hosting what he called a vital forum.
“I also commend GCCI for its decision to make employers’ roles and responsibilities the central theme of your Discussion,” he said.
The ILO Team Director noted that the theme resonates well with the mandate of his organisation.
Mr. Murangira said the primary goal of the ILO is to promote opportunities for women and men to obtain decent productive work in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity.
He assured of ILO’s availability to support the GCCI and its members to successfully meet the challenges of complying with labour laws taxation, decent employment generation and social dialogue through capacity building.
Presentations were made by Neneh Cham of FLAG on the Women’s Act 2010, Edward Mendy of Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation (SSHFC) on the Social Security Act and Dawda Jallow, a legal practitioner, on the HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Act 2015.
Mr. Alieu Secka, CEO GCCI, thanked the employers who were present as well as representatives from the ILO. He officially launched the two guides.
The forum was chaired by Madam Beatrice Prom, GCCI Senior Staff.