By Assan Bah
Speaking to reporters at a local hotel in Kololi, Pastor Amb. Ndubuisi Elvis Iruh, a publisher and editor-in-chief of the Voice Magazine, disclosed that The Gambia Voice Business Summit & Awards (GVBSA) 2022 will be hosted in The Gambia.
The awards, according to the organizers, will be rewarded to successful businesses and to those who had positive impacts in their communities and the country or the region they operate in respectively.
Pastor Elvis said they want to celebrate people while they are alive and not when they are dead.
“We are going to recognize Gambians themselves who are contributing to the advancement of the country. For example, President Adama Barrow who has [brought]back democracy in The Gambia,” he revealed.
Speaking further, Elvis said the only way one can bring development to Africa is to bring diasporans to interact and socialize.
“We are going to have business to business with our diaspora who will like to interact with the Gambian society from business, charity and empowerment,” he said.
The organizers also said the event will start from the 18th to the 21st of August this year from 9am to 5pm, while the award gala night will be held on August 20, 2022. He said they are attracting partners from South Africa, Kenya, Dubai and other parts of the world.
“The event is geared towards supporting the Gambia Government and make people realize The Gambia is still the Smiling Coast of Africa,” Pastor Elvis said.
When asked about the number of awardees, Mr. Elvis said they normally have 30 nominees and some will be Gambians. But this year, he said they have another 15 nominees for Gambians who promote the country and Africa in general.
“Therefore, we have 45 nominees this year,” he added.
Commenting on the criterions, he said, “We ask people to nominate the people that they think have to be recognized and give us reasons why an organization should be given an award. You send us a CV. We have a jury to look into it, whether they have done their work. We don’t give awards in absentia. If you are nominated, even if you are in the US, you must be present to collect your award. That’s how prestigious it is,” he said.
Pastor Elvis further said the event will serve as a platform which will give opportunities to the business sector.
“We have met with the GCCI who have accepted to collaborate with us where Gambian businesses will meet with potential investors,” he said.
According to the organizers, the money generated from the event will stay in The Gambia and businesses will have partners, and the diaspora will also have the opportunity to invest in the country’s business sector.
Meanwhile, the award’s first edition held in Africa was held in Kenya 2019, while the last edition was held in Dubai where the First Lady Fatoumata Bah-Barrow was given an award.