Gambia To Promote Investment In Cultural Goods And Services Under AfCFTA

Source The Ghana Report

A delegation from The Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) led by its  CEO, Mrs. Sarata Conateh, has met with experts of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in Accra to discuss issues related to investment in cultural goods and services under the  AfCFTA.

The organization as part of its European Commission project in “Promoting Investment In Culture, Creative Arts and Sport To Enhance Resilience Against Climate Change in the Local Community”  triggered to have a formal discussion with the experts of AfCFTA. They believe investment in the cultural sector will help to support the growth of the Cultural Goods and Arts Sector in The Gambia and for exports.

Mrs. Conateh disclosed that “handicraft and traditional sports, specifically the traditional wrestling, were being leveraged to contribute to community tourism in The Gambia to enhance the livelihoods and incomes of local craftsmen”.

To the organization, when keen interest is shown in cultural goods and services, it will end up creating more jobs in countries.

“The investment protocols being aimed at by the synergy between the GCCI and AfCFTA will cover support to the handicraft market, enhance trade in services and also support the regulatory protocols for the Culture and Creative Arts industry,” she said.

The Head of Trade in Services for AfCFTA, Beatrice Chaytor, who welcomed the delegation in Accra said, “the AfCFTA was engaged in intensive trade and services negotiation”…….ECOWAS has been providing community-level rules that intersect with trade, services, and the telecoms industry”.

It was noted that, under the AfCFTA, the five key areas concerned with ECOWAS are business services, communication, finances, tourism, and transport. Another aspect of the project that will come up for negotiation was recreational, cultural, and sporting services”.

The Head of Trade in Services for AfCFTA insisted that if The Gambia is ready to link up with AFCFTA protocols then they have to consider if the Gambia has its own AfCFTA strategy. Thus she said,   “at the moment every country is being urged to establish its AFCFTA national strategy and its national committee that will oversee that strategy and how it is implemented.”

The Regulatory Expert and Consultant to the project, Gibriel Bah, emphasized the importance of a harmonized regulatory framework to the growth of the Cultural & Arts sector not only in the Gambia but across the ECOWAS region to maximize the sector’s contribution to the economies of the region.

The Gambian delegation to the Secretariat of AfCFTA in Accra was made up of the Project Consultant and Regulatory Expert, Gabriel Bah; a Trade Expert, Mohammed Saigne, Business Development Officer of the Gambia Chamber of Commerce, Chris Addy-Nayo; and the CEO of Gaye Njorro Foundation and Skills Academy in the Gambia, Mrs. Fatou Saigne Gaye.

The AfCFTA was represented by the Head of Trade in Service, Beatrice Chaytor; Senior Expert Trade in Services, Desire Loumou, Expert, Trade in services, Daphine Lekipaina, and Policy and Research Officer, Trade in service division, Siobhan Sam.

The Gambian Delegation also proceeded for further engagement with the Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry where they met with the Chief Executive of GCCI Mr. Mark Badu-Aboagye. They also met with the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ghana on their consultative mission to Accra, Ghana.

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