11 August 2011

Gambia: Local Products to Be Exhibited at Global Economic Conference

The Gambia will showcase 300 finished products, mainly agricultural products, for exhibition in the forthcoming Global Youth Economic Opportunities Conference slated for 7-9 September 2011, in Washington DC.

This was disclosed to the Daily Observer Wednesday by Professor Darryl R.O. Prevost, president of the African-American Diaspora Alumni Club in the Unites States, and executive director of CADIA Institutes and Academies.

Professor Prevost is currently in The Gambia to promote the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) a US commerce department that manages the global trade with a view to promoting trade and investment and also strengthen the competitiveness of US industry in ensuring a fair trade law agreement. It is also aimed at offering tangible incentives for African countries to continue their efforts to open their economies in a free market world.

Prevost said 11 young Gambian business experts who are also members of the Green African-American AGOA are expected to attend the conference. He revealed that he is promoting AGOA through Green African-American AGOA aimed at promoting investment in Africa with its own internal markets so as to realise a greater self-sufficiency in terms of trade and manufacturing African products capable of being sold at the international market.

He said: "By advancing a more robust trade relationship between the American processors and manufactures of products from Africa, our hope is to drive the cost down on the American consumer side while increasing volume on the supply side."

He opined that The Gambia has the potential to produce and trade extensively in the international markets, while expressing satisfaction over the finished products he has so far seen in the country.

He stated that everybody should be given the opportunity to benefit enormously from AGOA, particularly youths and women, saying the trade does not only include materials, but also finished food products ready for the international market.

He further opined that partnership with the University of The Gambia (UTG) would be very vital in this whole trading issue by training them on food science, adding that it is one of the main areas of AGOA's mission in Africa.

Prevost noted that The Gambia has a very young and dynamic tourism industry, saying that it is something that would be key to poverty alleviation for the new generation. He added that the country's tourism has the potential to improve its economy considering its attractive riverbanks and ocean sites.

He spoke about the need for Africa to take ownership of AGOA by bringing on board business experts, farmers and even journalists with a view to highly promote trade and regional integration. He said there are certain products in Africa that need to be manufactured and sold to other parts of the world, but this is something that is not happening as it should be.

On the Green Africa America-European Tour programmes and Initiatives, Professor Prevost explained that the initiative is aimed at representing the development of a mature and direct supply chain of certified fair trade and organic products from Africa.

"While the demand is for such products to increase, it is the tour's responsibility to ensure that marginalised population on both sides of African-American trade system benefit," he indicated.

He further dilated on the importance of Green African Tour, explaining that it will facilitate the establishment of direct purchasing and technical agreements and sustenance between North Americans, investors, retailers, processors and African markets by stimulating the trade and the infrastructure of African markets. "It is also designed to attract investors in Africa's capital improvement and market for American clean technology equipment," he added.

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