The third congress of The Gambia Association of Construction Consultants and Contractors (GACCC) was recently held at the Kairaba Beach Hotel.
The congress convened by the Council of Gambia Association of Construction Consultants (GACSUL) and the Council of Gambia Association of Construction Contractors (GACCON) was centred on the theme: “The challenge: building The Gambia’ Delivering his keynote address, Lamin Bojang, secretary of state for Works, Construction and Infrastructure said the theme for the congress has been the cornerstone, which underpins the development policy of the government. “Since the advent of the Jammeh administration, not only has government disbursed billions of dalasis towards the construction of public infrastructure, but government also created the enabling environment for the private sector to build as well. From 1994 to date, there has been a boom in the construction industry,” he said. SoS Bojang then urged the GACCC to treat the deliberation of the congress with great seriousness.
He said it was in recognition of the weakness in the local industry that government formulated a project to enhance the establishment of small and medium size enterprises (SME’s) of both contractors and consultants. He said that the SME’s has been a resounding success as evidenced by plethora of construction enterprises that now exist.
He challenged the members of GACCC to establish a contractors’ credit union to bail out their colleagues. According to him many contractors have seen their business crumble as a result of unbearable burden of servicing bank facilities which were contracted at very onerous interest rates for financing their work. He then reiterated that government and local operators are partners. Marafang Bayo, the secretary general of GACSUL said the industry is currently facing several challenges, which make efforts at developing a vibrant and sustainable indigenous industry very difficult and complex. He elaborated more on the deficiencies and constraints that affect the primary resource inputs of the construction process.
Reverend Gabriel Leonard Allen, GACCON secretary general highlighted on the opportunities and strengths of GACCC. He enjoined government to implement policies that will protect the industry and systematically build-up their capacity within their membership Kebba Njie, chief executive officer of GIPFZA noted that the Investment Promotion and Free Zones Act is now being amended and consolidated. He said building a better Gambia together requires combination of crucial factors. Bringing the congress to an end, Matarr Jobe was elected as the new GACSUL president and Reverend Gabriel L Allen as GACCON president. Mustapha Njie (TAF) served as the congress chairman.