The Chief Executive Officer of Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), Alieu Secka has stated that businesses in the country has been hindered by the 22 years of dictatorship. He added that the past 22 years has been difficult in which the playing fields of businesses were not level at that time.
Mr. Secka was speaking during an interview with this reporter at his office in Bijilo, on Thursday.
The GCCI CEO further that they have come a long way and that now the environment is much fairer to them and businesses after coming from a difficult period for the past 22 years, adding that they are now beginning to see signs of progress in business in the Gambia.
According to him, one of the areas they can certainly acknowledged is the openness of businesses in the country which everybody now operate with no fear and with open manner. He noted that another problem facing business in the country is the issue of taxation.
“Recently we have also seen a reduction of VAT on essential commodities including rice. There are still many challenges and key among them is the energy crisis”, he said, adding that another problem is no sufficient electricity to be able to operate businesses as well as the cost of finance
Buttressing on their mandate, Secka revealed that the GCCI aimed is to support businesses though they don’t receive any support or funding from government as they are self-sustaining
“The work we do benefit every business whether small subscription business or not, because we advocate and represent businesses on a day-to-day basis both locally receiving investors, enquires, meeting stakeholders and international organizations to articulate day-to-businesses”, he noted.
He finally said that nothing gives them pleasure more than to see businesses succeed in moving from one level to another.
Secka is an entrepreneur, who studied finance and cooperate governance. He started worked with KPMG as auditing and business consultant. He was the deputy director of Senegambia Beach Hotel and rose through the ranks from Chief Accountant to Financial Controller. He later left the hotel in 2013 to setup his own hotel called Golden Hotel and run for eight years before been appointed as CEO.