The National Assembly of The Gambia on Thursday 22 September 2022 ratified the 2001 UNESCO Convention for the protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage (UCH).
The Gambia joined UNESCO in 1971 and since then the Gambia has ratified four UNESCO Conventions with this latest ratification as the fifth.
In a three-hour debate, the members of parliament said by ratifying the convention, The Gambia would be able to protect its resources underwater cultural heritage including the wharfs, wells, and settlement that are along the River Gambia and Atlantic coast from Kartong to Koina.
The minister of Tourism and Culture, Hamat N.K. Bah gave a very passionate prayer on the ratification, saying the ratification would promote local and sustainable tourism, protection of our vast cultural heritage and also generate employment for the youth.
The parliamentarians together with the Minister Bah commended the good efforts done by the National Centre for Arts and Culture and all its stakeholders including the parliament select committee on arts culture and sports.
Reacting to this development, the director general of National Center for Arts Culture (NCAC), Hassoum Ceesay, described it as another milestone in Gambia’s efforts to protect its cultural heritage.
He said everything would be done to work with the UNESCO and stakeholders to make sure that the Gambia starts to reap the fruit of the convention such as capacity building in archeology in museum studies in underwater diving and also to make sure that the communities around the River Gambia have their sites fully protected and conserved to benefit them and the country.