By Neneh Galleh Barry
Gambia’s Vice President, Ousainou Darboe praised the Raslan Family for their investments in the country.
In inaugurating the Raslan Mall recently Vice President Darboe said since January 2017, the country has seen great business climate transformation under President Barrow.
Darboe also welcome several investors from Egypt who flew into the Gambia to see what the country has to offer and attended the Raslan Mall launching which also marked the 25th year anniversary of the birth of the company in the Gambia.
Alhaji Saad Raslan, the founder of Saad M Raslan International Trading for his part, commended Vice President Darboe for gracing the occasion.
He expresses pleasure in investing in the Gambia which he refers to as his second home. The Egyptian businessman said he is commitment towards helping the country.
The investor said the country’s strategic importance cannot be over emphasize when it comes to business, saying the Gambia has the potential of becoming “the supermarket of the sub-region”.
Hatem, the General Manager of Saad M Raslan International Trading responsible for African said, they believe that they have a role to play towards making this great country the supermarket of the sub-region and/or even the Dubai of West Africa. “I believe that with the necessary efforts from everyone, yes we can get there,” the Egyptian-born diplomat said.
“The last ten years were very difficult for us just like most businesses operating in the Gambia under the former regime of Yahya Jammeh whose policies were business unfriendly and very challenging. As such, our company had to downsize operations and slow down with new projects,” Hatem said.
“But with the coming of the new government under President Adama Barrow, we have decided to come back and fully invest in the Gambia, as the new government means business.”
Meanwhile, Saad M Raslan International Trading has made moves to revive Gambia’s cotton production and export.
The company has secured land to grow cotton and promised to register Gambian cotton in many international markets.
Cotton was among Gambia’s cash crops during the colonial era and the first republican of former President Dawda Jawara and the country used to produce and export large volumes to outside markets.
However, during the 22-year-rule of former dictator, Yahya Jammeh, the cotton industry was left to decay, leaving farmers frustrated and turning on to something else.