By Yunus S Saliu
Vice President of The Republic of the Gambia with members of his delegation to the United Kingdom for the coronation of King Charles III (Charles Philip Arthur George) on Sunday met Gambians and friends of the Gambia in the UK on Diaspora engagement.
The Vice President His Excellency Mohammed BS Jallow accompanied by three cabinet Ministers, Hon Claudiana Cole – Basic Secondary Education; Dr. Tangara – Foreign Affairs and Prof Pierre Gomez – Higher Education were received at the meeting held at 30 A Church Road, Minor Park, London by Her Excellency Dr. Fatou Bomm Bensouda, The Gambia High Commissioner to the UK.
In her opening remarks the VP, H.E. Dr. Fatou Bomm Bensouda spoke on the importance of the meeting and this made way for Gambians and lovers of the Smiling Coast of Africa at the meeting to freely express their minds and exchanged ideas towards the development of the nation.
Mr Adama Njie, the Gambia Tourism Board (GTBoard) Director of Tourism UK, on behalf of the MoTC and GTBoard thanked the government led by His Excellency Adama Barrow through Vice President – Mohammed BS Jallow for the support toward the development of tourism in the Gambia.
He said the GTBoard will do everything possible towards earning back what it earned in 2019 saying, presently, they are 78% closer to the gap.
He noted that his presence (under GTBoard) at the Gambia Embassy with “support we are having from Her Excellency the High Commissioner of The Gambia and entire staff, it is not to only look at the UK market but of course markets like Ireland, Central, Eastern Europe, and the Nordic. And we are working behind closed doors with some partners to see how best we can increase our flight frequencies from the source markets.”
Relating one of the complaints of the Diaspora particularly in the UK to VP Jallow in regards to air access, Mr. Njie told the VP and delegate that if there is air access within Europe, Banjul and some countries within mainland Europe it will definitely help “as a problem of the seasonality will be closed.”
Note that countries that are competing with the Gambia now have air access in their routes while “The Gambia still depends mostly on the tour operators.”
At the interactive meeting on Diaspora engagement, His Excellency VP Mohammed BS Jallow spoke on the Diaspora Role in Nation Building, the Minister of Higher Education – Prof Pierre Gomez gave a comprehensive remark on how to attract a Diaspora skill base, Minister of Foreign Affairs – Dr. Tangara dilated on Gambia’s Foreign policy perspective in a new age.
The occasion was also used to award certificates to outstanding community workers.
However, Mr. Suntu Touray, DHM at the High Commission gave a welcome remark at the meeting, while special guests – Young Minds, Adama Janneh, Olimatou Chongan, and Gibril Faal among others made brief remarks at the meeting which was characterized by questions and answers.
Meanwhile, VP Mohammed BS Jallow and delegates were among high dignitaries from different countries that witnessed the coronation of King Charles Philip Arthur George III who was crowned Monarch of the United Kingdom and 4 Commonwealth realms on Saturday, 6th May 2023 at Britain’s first coronation for 70 years, during a ceremony “steeped in a millennium of ritual and spectacle.”