The Gambian Embassy in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, effectively stole the show in the midst of several other embassies including around a dozen African diplomatic missions during the award ceremony of Africa's Most Respected CEO Awards 2021.
The awardees carefully selected across the continent, included The Point's Pap Saine.
Mr. Kebba Dampha, first secretary at The Gambia Dubai Embassy, was officially invited as a special guest of honour to present awards to the respective CEOs at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.
In a letter addressed to this correspondent, the Board of Directors of the Business Executive officially extended their invitation to the Gambian diplomat.
The letter that expressed "wishes of safety during these times of global pandemic," also introduced Mr. Dampha to Ghana's leading corporate events company, the Business Executive Ltd.
The "Role of the African Corporate Pace-Setters in Maximizing the Opportunities offered by AFCFTA," was the theme of discussion.
In his statement, Mr. Dampha said that he was pleased with the "opportunity to represent and serve The Gambia in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and thanked President Adama Barrow and the Gambian people".
Mr. Dampha, outlined that "national development strategy; sustainable development should not only be the task of the government, but also the private sector, NGOs as well as other development partners".
He revealed that "The African continent free trade area finally took effect in January 2021" and that "it is the world largest trading area since the establishment of the world Trade Organization".
Mr. Dampha noted that "Africa is projected to create opportunities and boost the African economy" thus by facilitating this intra African Trade Area, "the international community expects sustainable growth and increased economic development".
The Gambian envoy also outlined the benefits of AFCFTA for the African economy which includes: creating a single market, expected economic boost and trade diversity, collaborate structure and enforcement, eliminating tariffs, settling trade disputes, protecting women traders, growing small and medium sized businesses and contributing to sustainable growth amongst others.
Regarding Covid 19, Mr. Dampha also said that it has "rapidly reshaped countries, societies and communities-and that the response to the pandemic has also changed political and social systems and created new social norms."
He also mentioned the effect of climate change, migration and displacement that he said are "both complex and evolving, which demand collective action".
Mr. Dampha, also highlighted Ghana President, Nana Akufo-Addo's recent statement regarding the effect of the pandemic and signalled that the "full economic impact of the pandemic is still not fully understood".
Responding to The Point, Mr. Dampha said: "This was a wonderful feeling of joy to have been nominated among more than 10 African embassies to be bestowed with this honour. I am personally overwhelmed as a special guest of honour. It marks significant recognition, outstanding and remarkable work of this embassy in the UAE. It is really incredible."
It is important to note that apart from Pap Saine, the Gambian diplomat was also credited to present awards to The Chief Executive of Ethiopian Airlines; The President of Owerri Chambers of Commerce Industry, Mines and Agriculture; Baroness Paulette Kporo Group CEO; Mr. Surendar Singh Kandhara, Chairman of Al Dobo-Wi Group and African Chamber for Trade UAE amongst others.