The signing came on the heels of a report on a survey conducted on the condition of female artistes in The Gambia with a series of training which led to one hundred artistes being certified at the National Centre for Arts and Culture (NCAC).
The female artistes and cultural professionals underwent training in such aspects as copyright, networking, and marketing of cultural goods held in December 2022.
The NCAC on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Aschberg project titled: Improving the Status and Condition of Female Artistes, has been working with artistes since July 2022.
The project was within the framework of the 2021 Call for Projects, which the NCAC submitted and which project was selected by theEvaluation Committee in May 2022.
In his remarks on the occasion, Minister Bah said: “The regulation is a great milestone in the annals of arts and culture funding in The Gambia, and it shows the readiness of the Government to support artistes for the sake of jobs, economic upliftment and the production of works to reflect Gambian values and norms.
The tourism minister pointed out that the Regulation, which has been signed, would be Gazetted, adding that he would go to Cabinet and engage the National Assembly to get the funds needed to support and beef up the Fund.
“I believe that Gambian artistes can do better than artistes in other countries when they get the needed funding support,” Mr Bah added.
For his part, NCAC’s Director General Hassoum Ceesay recalled that for close to two decades, they had never been able to operationalise the National Endowment Fund for lack of Regulation. “Now, it is all here,” he stated pleasingly.
DG Ceesay said the regulation would help Gambian artistes to get regular funding for their programs as well as improve their economic and social status.
He thanked the tourism minister for always reminding them of great artistes and how they could uplift the status of artistes of the country.
Maimuna Sidibeh, the secretary general of the National Commission for UNESCO, emphasised the importance of creative industries and the support they need.
She said artists faced challenges such as a lack of enabling environment hence found it necessary to come up with such an initiative for support.