By Ramatoulie Jawo
German Development Cooperation (GIZ) and partners on 10th August handed over a site for the construction of an Agro-food processing centre.
The facility to be built at the Gambia Tourism and Hospitality Institute (GTHI) in Kanifing is worth over D20 million.
Sainabou Drammeh, representative of GIZ gave an insight into the project.
“The project is a cooperation between ECOWAS and the German government aimed at complementing existing ECOWAS security and political initiatives to react to the emerging crisis across the region. The Gambia is selected as the pilot programme implemented by two partners namely GAMWORKS supported by KFW under the Gambia Pilot Programme and GIZ-FRSD,” she said.
The GIZ representative said their areas of intervention include youth employment, women empowerment, skills development in the fisheries, poultry and horticulture sectors, access to finance, business development, as well as advocacy and awareness raising for returning migrants.
Kadijatou Fofana, programme manager at Gamworks said the centre when built, would build and promote the local markets.
“We know that the GTHI has been in existence for so long now, and they have been supporting the tourism industry, and they have also hosted so many students in the industry; and having these skills, which is food processing will build and promote our local markets which is very important,” she said.
She added that the project is worth D21.9 million and the contract is awarded to Gai Construction Company.
Mr. Momodou Singhateh, Deputy Director General at GTHI described the project as a milestone for them and said their main pride in the project is its ability to link agriculture with tourism.
“The cardinal objective of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture is to expand the benefit of tourism, and one way of doing that is to link tourism and different sectors, mainly agriculture,” he said.
He said it’s necessary for such a valuable project to be implemented and requires not only the infrastructure, but also materials or equipment for this kind of facility to be functional, operational and beneficial.
Mr. Abdou Jane, the representative of Gai Construction Company, who is the project contractor, assured Gamworks and other partners that they would do their best to ensure they complete the project within the scheduled time.