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GCCI Holds Forum On Sub-Regional AfCFTA & ECOWAS Related Protocols

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GCCI President Edrissa Mass Jobe and members of the high table at the forum.

By Buba Gagigo

The Gambia Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Employers Association on Thursday held a forum on Sub-Regional AfCFTA and ECOWAS Related protocols. 

During his welcoming remarks, the president of the Gambia Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Employers Association (GCCI) highlights the importance of Economic integration.

“Economic integration is very important. ECOWAS is very old. The objective has always been to create a single market because the combined GDP of the ECOWAS region is about seven hundred and thirty billion. But if you are to compare us with other economic groupings, like EU and the United States, you will see that we haven’t done well in Africa in terms of the return of Human Capital,” he said.

On behalf of the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment, Ndeye Touray, says the forum will provide them the opportunity to sensitize and raise awareness of ECOWAS programmes, as well as take stock of the successes and challenges that they are faced. 

“It gives us the opportunity to fully realize the objectives of the African Inter-Continental Free Trade Agreement, which is to create a liberalised market for trade in goods with the specific objectives of boosting Intra African trade in goods through (i) Progressive elimination of tariff (ii) progressive elimination of Non-tariff Barriers (iii) enhanced efficiency of customs procedures, trade facilitation and transit (iv) Enhanced cooperation in the area of technical barriers to trade and sanitary and phytosanitary measures (v) development and promotion of the regional and continental value chains and (vi) Enhancing socio-economic development diversification and industrialization across Africa,” she said.

The forum which opened at a local hotel in the Senegambia area was attended by officials from the Gambia, Guinea, and Senegal who also took part in the dialogue.

The GCCI intends to strengthen bilateral partnerships with sub-regional governments and businesses within ECOWAS, with the aim of empowering private sectors in the selected countries, such that they can take full advantage of the potential benefits of these emergent economic trends.

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