At least 35 traders from Gambian local communities recently completed a day integration training on free movement of people and goods within the West African regional bloc, ECOWAS Member States.
Organised by Ecowas Citizen House and funded by African Center for Trade, Integration and Development (ENDA CACID) and the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), the training was held at the West Coast Region Governor's residence in Brikama.
The day-long convergent targeted to equip Gambian local traders with the necessary knowledge and understanding of protocols, rules, and actions for the integration of people and regional markets.
The forum is expected to enable participants to acquire knowledge related to regional integration issues and challenges so that they can request the implementation of ECOWAS instruments on free movement and fulfil the role of leaders in promoting regional integration.
Coordinator of ECOWAS Citizens House Alexandre Gomis said he is hopeful that the training will enable participants to master the main legal instruments that govern intra-regional trade and free movement of people within the framework of ECOWAS.
He said the trained traders will create their own networks and become leaders as far as promoting regional integration is concerned.
Governor Bakary Sanyang of West Coast Region thanked ECOWAS for coming up with the initiative, emphasising on the importance of free movement of goods and people within the region. He challenged participants to share the knowledge with their colleagues.
Ebrima Jallow, president of National Livestock Owners Association of The Gambia said trading creates self employment, job and income generation for people, saying the forum was organised to help traders to face challenges and conquer them.
Chairman of the National Youth Council (NYC), Dembo Kambi thanked ECOWAS for considering the traders and appealed for more trainings.
Omar Bojang, a Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) Customs Officer who presented on free trade said custom union is a free trade area in which members apply a common external tariff (customs duties) on goods originating from third countries.