The West African Consultation Consortium Programme in Italy (WACP) in collaboration with Constellation Consortium Gambia (CCG) Tuesday held 2014 investment forum which seeks to bridge the gap between European and Gambian investors.
The forum which was held at Pass Trading along Bertil Harding highway was graced by Italian investors, who are willing to finance investents in the Gambia. The idea behind the forum and the setting up of the Consortium was not only to connect Italian and Gambians investors, but also to facilitate and provide finance for Gambian companies in the areas of agriculture, infrastructural development, transport, health and energy amongst others.
The West Africa Constellation Programme (WACP) was conceded about two years ago in Italy by the Gambian Consul in the country, Professor Francesco Cristina and one Gian Matteo Balestrini. They, alongside Sulayman Secka CEO of Pass Trading funded the Constellation Consortium Gambia limited. The mission of WACP is to transform West African countries into industrial economic zones, by creating jobs for women and youth as well as support the much needed technological transfer in order to ensure both political and economic independence from external pressure. It is also meant to support the welfare of the youth in ECOWAS countries by offering them employment opportunities especially those who embark on the perilous journey to Europe.
Bai Matarr Drammeh, the coordinator of Constellation Consortium Gambia Ltd, said; 'we need to encourage investors into the Gambia and the sub-region in general which is my responsibility since am now the president of the federation of all the West African Chambers of commerce. We are tasked with supporting investment not only in the Gambia but the sub-region as a whole". He said it is within their mandate to ensure that investors coming from Europe and elsewhere are able to access information that will enhance their decision-making processes to invest in the Gambia and beyond.
The president of CCG, Sulayman Secka who doubles as the CEO of Pass Trading stressed the need to support the initiative and called for the concerted efforts of all sectors and development oriented people in the Gambia. He said their target for the yuths is to bring agro processing industries in the Gambia, especially European manufacturing companies. "We are doing everything possible to transfer their technology in the Gambia and when they come with their industries they will engage mainly the youths who are industrious in order to improve their living standards" he said.
Secka stated that the forum was a clear manifestation of their desire to promote foreign direct investment into the Gambia. Gian Matteo Balestrini, the chairman WACP, explained that they started few years ago in the ECOWAS region and that their specialized headquarters supposed to be in the Gambia to serve the whole West African region. "The intervention center includes agro-industry, production and the development of public and private sector amongst others " Balestrini noted.