By Arfang Camara

The Chief Executive Officer of The Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), Alieu Secka has stated that businesses in the country have been hindered by the 22 years of dictatorship. Mr. Secka was speaking during an interview with Fatu Network at his office in Bijilo, on Thursday.

The GCCI CEO stated though, that we have come a long way since, that the environment is now more conducive to business. He harped that the signs of progress he’s seeing is an indicator of major milestones for Gambian businesses in the very near future.

According to him, one of the more apparent signs of achievements is the disappearance of fear, which means people can operate openly without apprehensions of reprisals. He however cited that a major challenge facing businesses in the country is the issue of taxation. He commended the government for the recent reduction of VAT on essential commodities including rice.

“There are still many challenges and key among them is the energy crisis.” He spoke on their mandate, and clarified that they do not receive any funding from government.

“The work we do benefits every business, big or small, because we advocate and represent businesses on a day-to-day basis, receiving investors, inquiries, meeting stakeholders and international organizations.” His great pride and satisfaction is to see businesses grow from one level to the other.