Freetown, SIERRA LEONE – My journey to Dakar, the capital of Senegal, was marked not only by its rich culture and history but also by a sense of familiar feeling as I explored the city’s active business landscape. It was a brief trip into a place where business felt just like what I’m used to in Sierra Leone.
I couldn’t help but notice the striking similarity between its business districts and those of Sierra Leone. Just like the crowded Ecowas Street and Sani Abacha Street in Sierra Leone, Dakar’s business places are with energy and activity.
Sellers line the streets, displaying their wares with pride, just as they do back in Sierra Leone. These open-air markets are wonderfully chaotic, filled with colourful fabrics, shiny jewellery, and the delicious smells of street food, making it an exciting experience for my senses.
In Dakar, commerce is diverse, much like in Sierra Leone. Business people have a range of setups, from shops and tables to selling directly on the streets. It’s quite similar. Just like in Sierra Leone, some people who have money go to fancy shops, while others use tables or sell on the streets to sell their products. This also applies to the buyers in both counties.
One distinctive feature that I couldn’t ignore was the excitement of Dakar’s street sellers, predominantly young men, who would chase after potential customers with a catching zeal. This scenario mirrored the vibrant and competitive street trade that is in Sierra Leone.
For me, these young entrepreneurs, whether in Dakar or Sierra Leone, are the heartbeat of commerce, using their charm and persuasive skills to engage customers. Whether it’s a handcrafted souvenir or a flavourful snack, these sellers are determined to make a living through hard work.
Further exploring Dakar’s business scene, I realized that while the cities of Senegal and Sierra Leone may be separated by geography, they share a deep-seated business-minded spirit that goes beyond borders. The sight of street sellers, the lively markets, and the detailed commerce process felt remarkably familiar, reminding me that the essence of commerce is not confined by national boundaries.
It’s proof of the commonality of human enterprise and the determination to make a living through trade, regardless of where one calls home.
As I left Dakar, I carried with me not just the clear memories of its culture and people but also a renewed appreciation for the timeless spirit of commerce that links us all. In Dakar, much like Sierra Leone, the heartbeat of the city is a harmony of business, a reflection of the unstoppable spirit of its people. PSN/2/10/2023