Gambia launches $68M World Bank grant tourism project
By Sulayman Waan
The Gambia Government through the Ministry of Tourism and Culture on Tuesday launched a $68 million Tourism Diversification and Resilience project meant to boost the tourism industry.
The Ministry of Tourism with support from World Bank’s Board of Executive secured a grant from the International Development Association (IDA) to support the diversification and climate resilience of the tourism sector of The Gambia.
The project aims to improving the Diversification and Resilience of The Gambia’s Tourism Sector by Strengthening Institutional and Police Framework; Improving Capabilities and Access to Finance for Tourism related Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), and Building Resilience through Strengthening Sustainable Coastal Infrastructure and Rehabilitation of existing tourism sites.
The five year project will take a targeted approach to integrate gender actions across components and leverage significant global knowledge and experience in tourism recovery and SMEs upgrading initiatives, particularly related to building back better in post Covid-19 institution.
The project was launched at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara Conference Centre in Bijilo by Tourism Minister Hon. Hamat NK Bah.
Tourism is one of the main contributing sectors of The Gambia’s economy and employs 17% of the workforce.
In his launch statement, Tourism minister, Hamat NK Bah, said: “The biggest share of the grant porfolio amounting to $50 million will be spent on infrastructure works. “This design is to ensure that the tourism sector physical assets are protected from further damages as a result of climate change.”
Mr Bah continued: “The tourism diversification and resilience project shall support the tourism sector to diversify the products offered through sight and destination enhancement.”
“The project shall improve the marketing and branding of Destination Gambia through capacity building of key institutions to take informed policy, decision-based on timely and update data.
“The project will also improve tourism related micro and small enterprises and provide funding to help them grow,” he also said.
“The project will also build the resilience of the tourism sector in The Gambia by financing coastal infrastructure work in West Coast Tourism Development Area and rehabilitate important tourism sites to ensure the sector is better position to recover from any future shocks,” he added.