Press Release | 12 Jan. 2022

International Trade Centre and Ministry of Trade launch SheTrades Gambia Hub

conference

BANJUL, The Gambia - The Government of The Gambia through the Ministry of Trade, Industry Regional Integration and Employment (MOTIE) and the International Trade Centre (ITC) launched the SheTrades Gambia Hub to support women-led businesses with international competitiveness and market access.

The SheTrades Hub offers a platform for women-owned businesses to benefit from a wide range of opportunities to expand their business and participate in trade through networking, learning opportunities, trade fairs and other business events.

The launch reception, hosted by the United Kingdom High Commission in The Gambia, provided a platform to bring together different partners, including SheTrades entrepreneurs in fashion and agribusiness, value-chain enablers, market partners, the Gender Champions, government stakeholders and development partners. The reception and networking event also provided an opportunity for the entrepreneurs to showcase their products.

The SheTrades Hub is hosted by MOTIE and allows the Government to further institutionalize the support services for women entrepreneurs, aligning them to local contexts for increased ownership and sustainable long-term impact.

Speaking about the importance of the SheTrades Hub, H.E. Isatou Touray, Vice President of The Gambia stressed the government’s continued commitment in support of women economic empowerment: “Women-owned businesses need support to build their productive capacities and improve the quality of their products in other to connect to the markets. The SheTrades Gambia Hub is a critical initiative to tap the opportunities and activate the potential for women in business.”

The SheTrades Gambia Hub builds on the successful implementation of a three-year country project that benefitted Gambian women economically, particularly in the agricultural, textiles and clothing value chains.

Funded by the OPEC Fund for International Development, the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) and ITC, the project so far has improved the capacity of five business support organisations, facilitated more than $3 million in investments and business transactions, and trained more than 1,000 women-owned businesses and women entrepreneurs for better competitiveness.

Speaking at the reception, The British High Commissioner to The Gambia, H.E. David Belgrove, emphasized the importance of partnerships to bolster the international competitiveness of Gambian women-owned businesses. “There are many dynamic entrepreneurs in The Gambia, as we see this evening, women are leading many of these innovative enterprises. We now need to promote and encourage international contacts and partnerships to see these businesses reach their full potential,” he added.

The initiative is backed by the Global SheTrades programme, in particular SheTrades Commonwealth, that provides technical expertise and policy guidance. It also triggered a number of new initiatives, projects and partnerships. For instance, the COVID-19 recovery through digitalization and market access for women horticulture producers supports the establishment of a digital value chain platform linking horticultural producers, buyers, and other value chain actors.

About MOTIE

The Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment (MOTIE) is the Government Ministry responsible for facilitating trade and promoting private sector development for employment generation. MOTIE also hosts the SheTrades Hub Gambia to support to the empowerment of women entrepreneurs in the Gambia to enhance their integration to the regional and global markets.

About UK In The Gambia

The UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Officer Department has been a partner and principal funder of SheTrades since the initiative was launched back in 2016. At the time, we joined forces with ITC with a pledge to connect one million women to market by 2021. This target has been achieved some time ago and we raised our ambition to connect 3 million women by the end of this year.