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Ministry Of Tourism & Culture Lunches $68m Project 

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Ministers and other government officials at the launching December 13th 2022.

By Ramatoulie Jawo 

The Ministry of Tourism and Culture has on Tuesday Launched a Sixty-Eight Million Dollars ($68m) project to support the Diversification and Climate Resilience of the Tourism Sector in The Gambia.

According to the ministry, the project is funded by a grant from the International Development Association (IDA) with support from the World Bank’s Board of Executives.

The aim of the Project is to improve the Diversification and Resilience of the Gambia Tourism Sector by Strengthening Institutional and Policy Framework, Improving Capabilities and Access to Finance for Tourism related SMEs, and Building Resilience through Strengthening Sustainable Coastal Infrastructure and Rehabilitation of existing tourism sites.

According to the ministry, the five-year project will take a targeted approach to integrate gender actions across complements and leverage significant global knowledge and experience in tourism recovery and SMEs upgrading initiatives, particularly those related to building back better in post Covid-19 situations.

Speaking at the event the honorable Minister of Tourism and Culture, Hamat NK Bah, said the project will build the resilience of the tourism sector in the Gambia by financing coastal infrastructure work in West Coast tourism development areas and rehabilitate important tourism sites to see that the sector is better positioned to recover from any future shocks.

“The core components of the project will be implemented using a targeted approach that integrates gender actions as well as climate mitigation and adaptation approaches. Throughout the project implementation, we will ensure that the Best Global Practice in these areas is Panisse using firms with track records to achieve the desired products objectives. It is important to reflect on the infrastructure component at this point, and we think that the biggest sale of the ground portfolio amounting to $50 million will be spent on infrastructure works,” Minister Bah said.

He added that; “This is not to say that no financing will directly or come to the key players in tourism. No, this is your project. Matching grants shall be provided to you through the tourism related SMEs”

Fayi Borroffice, the World Bank country representative, called on the private sector to work with them in the implementation of the project; saying it wouldn’t be successful when the private sector is not a supporter 

“The World Bank’s partnership with the Gambia includes the commitment to assist the Government to achieve inclusive and resilient private sector driven job creation. So, this is a point I would like to make. The jobs in the future are not going to come from the public sector. They are coming from the private sector,” she said.

Minister of Gender, Children and social welfare, Fatou Kinteh, said the project is embedded with the gender focused interventions with the aim of closing gender gaps and increasingly women lead SMEs access to matching grants.

Ebrima Jawara, the permanent secretary at the ministry of environment said Most of the tourism infrastructure are currently located along the coast in the western part of the country facing higher risks of destruction in the event of envisaged sea level rise causing huge material and financial losses, affecting lives and livelihoods. 

The representative from the ministry of Finance, Abdoulie Jallow, said he has no doubt that the project components will be implemented in the most efficient and effective manner as the Minister of tourism and culture has always demonstrated strong commitment to support the tourism sector.

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