GYCC Report on National Youth Exhibition (4/10/2017)


The Gambia Youth Chamber of Commerce (GYCC), is the umbrella body and voice of Youth Entrepreneurs in The Gambia committed to advocating for the creation of the enabling environment that facilitates an organized, vibrant, robust, functional, sustainable and competitive private sector youth-led micro enterprise sub sector that is positioned to actually create jobs, generate wealth and contribute to the GDP through innovative intervention mechanisms, constructive engagement, synergy and partnership with strategic stakeholders.

The Exhibition targets 100 young Gambians business entrepreneurs across the length and breadth of the country to a seven (7) days sales and market opportunity and 55 Youth exhibited in the first ever National Youth Exhibition. The Exhibition took place at the Kanifing Municipality at the Gamcell Youth Monument at Westfield from the 25th March – 1st April 2017.

Day 1:

Saturday 25th March 2017, the event started with fixing the tents for the youth exhibitors to use during the period of the exhibition at the Gamcell Youth Monument at Westfield.

The following day, on Saturday 25th March 2017, the organizing committee for the National Youth Exhibition in the morning started receiving youth exhibitors from Banjul, Kanifing and the West Coast Region.  On the first day 9 Youth Exhibitors arrived and start displaying their products to the public. It was an exciting day to know that we have talented and already start-up youth enterprises in the country.

On her arrival, Mariama Ceesay of Yama’s Fashion boutique, told the Organising Committee, she is pleased to be part of the exhibition saying that “this is her first time to participate in the exhibition”.

She went further to say that the exhibition, she believes will give her more space for networking and building partnership with other youths.

According to her, organizing such events would give the youths the opportunity in exposing their products and services both nationally and internationally.

Another Exhibitor, Madam Nenneh Mendy, a youth exhibitor, expressed her profound gratitude to the donors for support both financially and logistically for GYCC to organize the exhibition.

The total number of customers who visited the exhibitions were much with an estimate number of 60 people, this was the starting and not many were coming in to buy.

Day 2:

On Sunday, 26th March 2017, the Organising Committee, continue receiving more youth exhibitors to display their products and services. 10 youth exhibitors were received and they were allocated stalls and they started exhibiting their products and services. On the second day the number increase to 140 customers, may be this was due to the Sunday and people don’t go to work and the musical sound system continuous to play good music as entertainment.

Day 3

On Monday, 27th March, in the morning, the Organising Committee, continue receiving more youth exhibitors and allocating them with stalls. It was a busy day for the Organising Committee- the logistic and the communication team was busy attending exhibitors and the media was also helping on the social media updates. Facebook and Twitter, was used for sharing pictures and key messages. Read links Facebook: See Twitter handle @gyccgambia for more information.

The numbers of customers boomed as we received more colourful exhibitors, and total number of visitors was 215 people whom some may be buyers or visitors.

Media at work

Later in the day was the opening ceremony to officially announce the National Exhibition.

The opening ceremony gathered representatives from the International Trade Centre (ITC) through the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP), the European Union (EU), National Youth Council (NYC), National Enterprise Development Initiative (NEDI), Ministry of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment (MoTIE), youth organizations, School children’s as well as individuals gathered over 75 people to witnessed the official opeing

Speaking at the official opening ceremony, Mr. Babucarr Kebbeh, CEO- Gambia Youth Chamber Of Commerce said ‘’Creating of a public entrepreneurship space, places a great hope in  Youth Power to shape the future of the Gambia, because we ( young people) are the Gambia’’ he further stated that, Encouraging entrepreneurship is one of the most impactful steps we can take in addressing some of the disparities we see today, and Empowering young men and women to become not only wage-earners but also job-creators is imperative for achieving the 2030 Agenda and for eradicating poverty To realize the dividend, Government of the Gambia and the private sector must invest in the empowerment, education and employment of the young people. I am been informed that over 64 % of our population today are young people, representing a staggering amount of human potential. Yet too many of them are trapped in poverty, with few opportunities to learn or to earn a decent living.

We all appreciate the massive waste of human capital in our world when 74 million young people cannot find work, in our case as the Gambia, 38% of our Youth are not either employed or have a decent job to be able to realise their individual dreams and aspirations, the unprecedented rising rate of these circumstances is unacceptable.

He finally concluded his speech by saying ‘’Young people are hungry for better options. “They are rejecting the status quo and demanding a better future. Many of them are claiming their right to a decent living, and they are willing to take risks to do so. We have seen in recent times the high numbers of young people taking risks around the Mediterranean, trying to reach a better life,”

In addressing the root causes of these above mentioned, The Gambia Youth Chamber of Commerce deem it timely and necessary to create this space for our young people to:

  1. Bridge the opportunity gap to enhance youth empowerment
  2. Promote Gambia Made products and services to boost national economic growth
  3. Provide the market space for SMEs

Other Speakers included Mr. Lamin Darboe, National Youth Council, Miss. Ajara Jallow MoTIE, Deputy Permanent Secretary MoTIE, Mr. Lamin Dampha who gave the Official Opening statement on behalf of the Minister of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment( MoTIE) and Mr. Ismaila Sambou, President GYCC who gave the vote of Thanks on behalf the Board and staff of the chamber.  And he said in onw words….

‘’This is what you believe stand to die for it  no matter how bad it is or how bad it gets you are going to make it, work hard to represent an idea and possibilities invest in your mind try being alone and think positively about your life. Invest time try to know yourself this who you are design to be an entrepreneur if you take your place in society fit it well if people don’t like you don’t bother you no more why because you are not concern with trying to make them happy.

If you talk about your dream you talk about your aims and objective and you have not taken a step start now the Gambia Youth Chamber of Commerce is here to create that needed environment for you. You and make your parents proud, you can make your community proud, Always say to yourself it’s not over until I win you can touch millions of people and the world would never be the same again.

With that few remarks I want say a big thank the Government of the Gambia, UNDP, European Union, ICT Yep project through the coordinator, Social Security and housing finance Cooperation, NEDI, NYC and FASDAP for all their support in making this even possible’’,  he concluded

From the opening the organising committee took the guest to a tour around the exhibitors and this was led by the Deputy Permanent secretary, Ministry of Trade aongside other invited dignitaries.The Guest were impressed by te good number of young people seen participating and later advised them on the way forward for a better business.

Day 4

On Tuesday, 28th March 2017, youth exhibitors continue getting more customer and around 9:00pm in the evening, the Organising committee engaged the youth exhibitors on their sells as well as how many customers they attended. It was confirmed that 187 customers entered the exhibition ground and bought products/materials from the exhibitors.

 It was also the day, Elisa and her team from YEP project under the ITC visited the exhibition ground at Westfield and was accompany by GYCC team members.

Day 5

The FASDEP Youth Forum: Youth Entrepreneurship dialogue

On Wednesday, 29th March, was also a booming day, when the youth exhibitors continue receiving more customers. At the organizing committee meeting, Logistics committee confirmed that 232 customers. The day, also witnessed the Youth Empowerment Forum which was dedicated to one of our partners (FASDEP) to engage our youth exhibitors with development partners on a 3hrs dialogue.

Panelists were: Elisa Luotonen from ITC-YEP Project, Mr. Landing B. Sanneh, General Manager of NEDI, Mr. Mamadou Edrisa Njie, Executive Director, Global Youth Innovation Network Gambia Chapter (GYIN Gambia Chapter), Mr. Yusupha Keita, GIEPA, Business Development Officer, each of the panelist was given 10mins to present on ‘’the opportunities for young people at institutional level’’

Executive Director of GYIN Gambia, Mamadou Edrisa Njie, said GYIN is an international youth network supported by the Rome based International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a United Nations agency specialized in rural development.

According to him, GYIN Gambia was selected by IFAD as a leading youth mobilization network for agricultural development in the country and fully participated in the designing of the Nema Project, which is a US$65M IFAD/IsDB and AfDB co-funded project which started implementation from 2012 – 2019 inclusive and is directly benefiting: 28,729 households. The goal of this project is to reduce poverty among rural women and young people through improved productivity based on sustainable land and water management practices.

  • Key area of intervention is training of rural youth Region on Entrepreneurship
  • GYIN Global successfully organized an International Event on Youth Agribusiness, Leadership and Entrepreneurship on Innovation (YALESI) in Dakar, Senegal which brought together more than 400 delegates worldwide
  • GYIN Gambia Chapter, is also coordinating the implementation of the project “Creating Opportunities for Rural Youth” (CORY Project)
  • GYIN Gambia as a National Youth Organisation, has implemented a series of training programmes for rural youth organizations on Leadership Skills and Qualities, Organizational Management, Entrepreneurship, Climate Change, Disaster Risk Reduction etc.

Mr. Yusupha Keita of GIEPA and Landing Sanneh of NEDI both gave presentation on the opportunities available at their institutions and how can the young people get access to them.


The forum ended with question and answers from youth participants.

Day 6

Thursday, 30th April, the national youth exhibition continues to receive more publicity via our Fcebook pages and other members of the committee by sharing message and pictures of the event. It was the, CEO of Gambia Chamber of Commerce (GCCI) visited.

The GCCI CEO, Program Manager, NYC and GYCC members

Mr. Alieu Secka, told the organizing committee during a surprise visit that he is impress with the organization of the activity, saying that GCCI will collaborate with GYCC in upcoming events. He gave assurances that GCCI is ready to support GYCC initiatives.

According to Mr. Secka, the exhibition is timely saying that the activity needs to be replicated in other regions of the country to attract more youth’s participation.

President GYCC, Mr. Ismaila Sambou, thanked Mr. Secka for the visit while commending GCCI for the started partnership. He informed him that at GYCC, they will continue working with GCCI to implement upcoming activities. He puts to GCCI’s Secka that GYCC needs their support and they (GYCC) would continue knocking on their doors for more support to organize youth exhibitions across the country.

“At GYCC, our priority is to be organsing quarterly that is every three (3months) National Youth Exhibitions to expose more youths that are talented.”

Exhibitions, Mr. Sambou stated provide businesses with a unique marketing advantage, therefore, organizing national youth exhibitions, will be a platform for young Gambian entrepreneurs to meet, unite and build rapport with prospects customers.

On the Friday 31st March 2017, more customers and partners continue visiting the exhibition. It was a day that also registered a good number of customers.

About 147 customers visited and bought different products from the youth exhibitors.


Saturday, 1st April was the official closing ceremony.

Speaker at the official closing ceremony includes: Mr. Adama Beyai 2 Vice President GYCC, Mr. Fabakary Kalleh, Former Chairperson NYC, Mr. Landing B. Sanneh, General Manager of NEDI and Madam Elisa from ITC- YEP.

Mr. Adama Beyai – 2nd Vice President-  of GYCC gave an overview of GYCC concept , aim and objectives and also spoke about First ever Youth Exhibition of which he thank Donors, Partners and Exhibitors and the entire organising committee. The day  generally brought together 211 people and customers and some of them attended the closing.

Madam Elisa from ICT-YEP expressed her appreciation on behalf of the ICT-YEP and thanked GYCC for organising the national youth exhibition. She further challenge and encourage other young people to come forward and participate in the YEP activities and grap the opportunities available

    Adama Beyai-GYCC                       Raimund-Cross sec. invitees             Elisa-Speaking on Closing day


 CEO GYCC midst of Invitees                        Participants                            Dignitaries on the closing day

“I am impressed with what I saw here, and YEP will continue supporting this initiative”. She thanked partners like MoTIE, NEDI, and NYC amongst others.

Mr. Fabakary Kalleh, former Chairperson NYC, gave a motivational and inspirational speech and further encourage GYCC to be committed and delivered as promises and assures them of his support and advice at all time if needed.

Mr. Landing B. Sanneh, General Manager NEDI, gave a closing remark, stating that ‘’this was a test and GYCC had made a history and the bigger test is what lies ahead from here, in two years we will want to see a bigger forum and progress recorded’’

Awarding of certificate –The exhibition was closed with a colourful ceremony where all the youth exhibitors were awarded with a certificates including partners


Awarding of Certificates to Exhibitors and Partners


Networking among YEP Team, Exhibitors and Customers during the Exhibitions


Products and services displayed


 The Team behind the Youth Exhibition


  At the end of the National Youth Exhibition, the following recommendations were made:

  • Organise quarterly National Youth Exhibitions in regions
  • Bi-monthly three (3) days training for Exhibitors that participate in every exhibition
  • Support Youth Exhibitors to participate in GCCI International Trade Fairs
  • Support Youth Exhibitors to participate in International Trade Fairs
  • Have a fully operational Youth Chamber Secretariat


Challenges during the event are;

  • Disbursement of funds from partners
  • Shortage of budget- before and during the event
  • Before the event-

–  Logistics for the organizing committee

–  Logistics for Youth Exhibitors

– Accommodation for Youth Exhibitors and the Organising committee

  • During the event

Payment for the media,

– Payment for Onsite Social Media Reporters

Daily Entertainment-Unable to fund Artist to play

Success stories for the National Youth Exhibition are;

  • Media publicity on GRTS TV, Radio and the Voice newspaper
  • Social media updates- Facebook and Twitter
  • Partnership with other youth organizations/networks/ and groups
  • Partnership relations with YEP, NEDI, NYC, MoITE, GCCI and GIEPA
  • Exposed Youth Exhibitors
  • Good turnout of costumers


Statistic of attendance of customers

Days No of Customers Male Female
Saturday 25th March 60 27 43
Sunday 26th 120 44 76
Monday 27th 215 78 137
Tuesday 28th 187 85 102
Wednesday 29th 232 96 136
Thursday 30th 211 62 149
Friday 31st 112 43 69
Saturday 1st April 218 56 162
Total attendees 1338 464 874



NAME Company’s Name Address
Diminga J Mendy Gomen Poultry Farm venture Sunchu Wurri
Edmon F Njie Stitching hana to hand skills training center Farato
Mariama Ceesay Yama’s Fashion Boutigue Banjul
Ya Sosseh Njie Jobe’s Fashion Banjul
Musa A Sowe Cyber City Bakoteh
Isha Colley Isas Wellingara
Modou Pen Mopen Poultry Fajara
Duroseme Taylor Toukki Man New Jeswang
Alpha Omar Jammeh Libra consultancy sercices Kololi Senegambia
Lamin Ngum Kunkujang Farmers association Kunkujang Keitaya
Mariama M Jallow MJ event planing and Catering Farato
Lolly Lolly’s Poultry Farm Sukuta
Neneh Mendy Neneh’s cosmetic Westfield
Bakary Jadama Jadama’s Design Dippa Kunda
Mansurr Gaye VIP Fashion and Cosmetics Mall of the Gambia
Assan Cham Royal Touch Serekunda
Ngone Nbai Jal’s Healthy Food Kanifing
Fatou Jibba Sowe D’Ja Boutique Mall of the Gambia
Haddy Gaye Dyner farm The Gambia Serekunda


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