The Gambia Chamber Commerce and Industry (GCCI) on Friday held its annual business award dinner to deserving businesses that have registered outstanding success in 2013, at Jama Hall, Kairaba Beach Hotel. The theme for this year's award was 'Building Partnership', which is in recognition of the significance of partnership in business and the need to promote it.
The Gambia business award is a national, all-encompassing awards programme that honours enterprises which demonstrate the core values of business excellence, project excellence, sustainability and commercial success in their respective industries. Conducted annually since 1990, the awards honour The Gambia's industry leaders, by acknowledging their innovations in business. The award also recognises the importance of social and environmental contributions made by enterprises and organisations, through excellence of service, commitment to their customers, philanthropic ideals, ethical behaviours and environmental sustainability initiatives.
The objective of the award is to instil excellence in the conduct of business among industries, by rewarding creativity and innovation to enhance competiveness of our business environment. The winners of 2013 award are as follows: Leading Business of the year goes to Africell, Young Entrepreneur of the year, goes to Seedy Bensouda, Small and Medium Enterprise of the year-King Baker, Service Provider goes to GT Bank, Emerging Business of the year goes to Jalbak, Modou Lamin Samateh and Lifetime Achievement award goes to Harriet Ndow. Abdou Kolley, the minister of Trade Industry, Regional Integration and Employment, who deputised for the president, His Excellency Sheikh Professor Dr. Alhaji Yahya Jammeh, said, private-public partnership is a viable option that needed to be looked at, noting that "if there is a Gambian company that is producing roofing tiles of good quality why the need for importing tiles from other countries." In his own words, he said "Let us see how we can buy local things that are available in the country to help the business to grow, if you do so, it means you are helping Gambians".
He then urged Gambians to be nationalistic in a positive way by ensuring that Gambians patronise each other. Minister Kolley said the partnership can be effective, if everybody plays his or her part; and if government works towards putting in place policies that address the needs and aspirations of all.
For his part, Muhammed M. Jagana, the president of GCCI, explained that each corporate entity adds value to the development of the amenities and provides some services that transform and reform the quality of life in The Gambia. GCCI President disclosed that to ensure credibility of the awards, the chamber improves on the metrology and evolution process to ensure that the nominee is worthy of the award. The global business environment is becoming more competitive, Jagana added, as he noted that undoubtedly the private sector is in the forefront of the competition. Cabinet ministers, foreign dignitaries, senior government officials, and the business community, among others attended the ceremony.