The Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), in c ollaboration with ECOWAS and the pan-African bank, Ecobank, Friday held a one-da y forum on tapping into the ECOWAS market.
The forum, amongst others, aims to create awareness on various ECOWAS protocols that are intended to increase trade flows in the sub-region and to prepare the p r ivate sector to take full advantage of such protocols.
It covered topics mainly on the ECOWAS business directory, the ECOWAS External T ariff and the ISRT and brought together stakeholders in the country’s business s e ctor, especially those in the banking industry.
Bai Matarr Drammeh, President of The Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry und erscored the importance his office attaches to the promotion of free trade withi n the sub-region.
According to Drammeh, one of GCCI’s major objectives is looking for innovative w ays and opportunities to enhance economic development and also guarantee success and sustainable growth of the private sector through regional integration.
Fitzerald Odonkor, Managing Director, ECOBANK Gambia said the initiative of his bank to partner and serve as sponsors to the forum is not only because they are m embers of the GCCI or a mere show of their financial prowess but it is also part of their responsibility to champion regional trade integration in the sub-region and beyond.
Odonkor pointed out that many a times, great African people have echoed the cons picuous need to see a united Africa through speeches.
This, Odonkor however disagrees with, noting that questions of how Africa can in tegrate into coherent regional bloc can only be answered through the fostering o f trade and economic ties supported by well-defined protocols.