By Binta Jaiteh
The Ministry of Tourism and Culture on tourism diversification and resilience to the tune of 68 million dollars project launched aiming to improve the diversification of the Gambia by strengthening institutional and policy framework.
The World Bank’s board of executives secured a grant from the International Development Association (IDA) to support the diversification and climate resilience of the tourism sector in the Gambia and this project is regarded as one of the most important projects in the history of the Gambia.
During the launching on Tuesday at a local hotel, Hon. Hamat Bah Minister of Tourism and Culture said the project shall improve the capabilities of tourism, small and medium enterprises.
“The project will build the resilience of the tourism sector and finance coastal infrastructure work in tourism development areas. It is important to reflect on the infrastructure component and we will make sure that the product base of the industry is preserved.
The President has decided that all Covid-19 protocols are lifted the process has started and the Ministry of Health will give the legal instrument to make sure nobody at the airport will be asked for a Covid certificate he thanked all the partners that collaborated to make sure that this project is a success,” he said.
Mamadi Dampha, Deputy Permanent Secretary Ministry of Tourism and Culture said the project is a land map history for the Gambia and also a significant milestone in the history of the tourism sector.
Ebrima Jawara, Deputy Permanent Secretary Ministry of Environment representing the Environment Minister said the Gambia recently developed its long-term climate strategy for achieving low-carbon, climate resilience development by 2050 as called for in the Paris agreement.
He said the of developing the LTS project was led by the Ministry of Environment, Climate change, and Natural Resources in close partnership with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs.
“An effective Gambian climate change response requires economic, social, and environmental interventions that integrate mitigation and adaptation elements within a development framework.
Most of the tourism infrastructure is currently located along the coast in the Western part of the country facing a high risk of destruction in the event of envisaged sea-level rise causing huge material and financial losses,” he pointed out.
He noted that the political will of this government under President Barrow is evident and the MOE being a member of the project’s steering committee shall play its part in the effective implementation of this project.
Abdoulie Jallow, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Finance stated that the project could not come at a better time than now Covid-19 has globally affected the economy of the country which has faced challenges that hurt the ability to properly develop a plan.
He said that these challenges are inadequate and the Government recognizes these challenges and has made it a priority to improve capacities in these areas.
He added that this will reduce climate vulnerabilities and his ministry is optimistic that the successful implementation of all the components in this project will help a long way in transforming the tourism sector.