Entrepreneurs in post-Jammeh Gambia thrive in a good business climate

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On Saturday, Gambians go to the polls to vote for their president. Five years have passed since outgoing leader Adama Burrow ended 22 years of dictatorship by beating Yahya Jammeh in the polls. The democratic transition has changed the lives of entrepreneurs, and many of those who left have now returned to participate in post-Jammeh development. Reporting by Sarah Sakho, Elimane Ndao and Emmanuelle Landais.

It is 1 p.m. Fatumata Njie and her team can finally start their production of “Made in the Gambia” tea. But working in the small processing plant is not without its obstacles.

“The power has returned, we can start. We will work until 5 pm,” she said beaming. The 29-year-old entrepreneur started her business after returning to Gambia from Benin after the fall of Jammeh.

” I am happy ! I can say that since I started things have been going in the right direction. Business does not stop. People really enjoy what I do, and they also love to drink my teas.

Njie now employs around 20 young people.

“Before, dictatorship was too much. You would sit down and hear that someone had just been arrested. Now you can go out freely, do whatever you want. Nobody bothers you.”

For Lamine Makalo, the company’s accountant, the company’s success is a blessing. “It really saved my life. In 2016 I was desperate, I wanted to emigrate at all costs. Thanks to the manager and the growth of the company, I am doing well. Today I am proud to say that I am doing something for my country, ”he said.

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