Gambia launches Project on empowering SMEs for Women

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Gambia launches Project on empowering SMEs for Women
Gambia launches Project on empowering SMEs for Women

Africa-Press – Gambia. The Gambia government and partners recently launched a new project dubbed the ‘IP+ Accelerator Program for women SMEs in the Gambia.’

The program focuses on the use of Intellectual Property (IP) in strengthening the competitiveness of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in The Gambia. The program is supporting 50 SMEs in The Gambia.

Prof. Muhammadou M.O. Kah, Gambia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office in Geneva, in his opening remarks highlighted the importance of the project. He says the project comes at a particularly crucial time for The Gambia as it aspires to propel growth.

‘’In today`s competitive and dynamic global business environment, it is not enough to be just creative and innovative, rather businesses need to understand the value of their creation, how to market it, and how to build a portfolio of IP rights to protect it in a way that helps generate revenue and wealth,’’ Prof. Kah remarked.

He took the opportunity to thank with appreciation and gratitude the leadership of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) for the important initiative under the visionary leadership of DG Darren Tang.

The Solicitor General and Legal Secretary,Hussien Thomasi, for his part thanked WIPO and Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) for cooperating with the Ministry of Justice to support and mentor the SMEs on the use of intellectual property to boost their businesses. He notes that Intellectual Property can be a valuable asset that will set SMEs apart from their competitors and help them thrive in the marketplace. He emphasizes that IP is a superpower that can give SMEs a competitive edge in the market and it plays a vital role in their growth and sustainability.

GCCI Board Director and Lead Consultant, David Jeng, gave an overview of the project and what is expected of the SMEs whilst underscoring the need to gain Intellectual Property Protection to grow their business globally and harness the opportunities of the AFCFTA. He ended by challenging the SMEs to use the IP and great success stories for their business whilst undergoing the program.

Ms. Loretta Asiedu, Acting Director of WIPO’s Division for Africa, made introductory remarks on behalf of her organization. ‘’Mentees, you are now being equipped with knowledge on key processes, IP tools, and the support needed in acquiring IP rights and making effective use of IP tools for business purposes,’’ she said. ‘’The successful implementation of this project will not only advance your participation in the global IP ecosystem but also broaden your knowledge, providing you with the opportunity to capitalize on IP tools to gain competitive business advantage in local and global markets,” she added.

The keynote address was delivered by Mr. Hasan Kleib, WIPO Deputy Director General who highlighted the significance of the project and its potential impact on the SMEs in The Gambia. Mr. Kleibunderscored the importance of SMEs, which form an essential component of the national economy and provide a crucial source of employment for youth. ‘’With around 55% of The Gambia’s population under the age of 25, and more than 40% of SMEs in The Gambia being youth-owned, empowering SMEs is a strategic move towards sustainable development and innovation in The Gambia,’’ he stressed.

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