Stakeholders validate GTHI Agri-Food Processing, Packaging curriculum
By Sulayman Waan
A cross-section of stakeholders have validated the Gambia Tourism and Hospitality Institute (GTHI) Agri-Food Processing and Packaging Curriculum during a three-day validation workshop held in a local hotel.
The workshop was attended by officials of the Ministry of Agriculture as well as respresentatives of the National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI), Food Safety and Quality Authority of The Gambia (FSQA), National Nutrition Agency (NaNA), the Gambia Youth Chamber of Commerce (GYCC), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, the Gambia Tourism Board (GTB), among others.
The curriculum aims to provide quality and standard education in agri-food processing and packaging at GTHI.
Momodou Lamin Singhateh, director general of GTHI said the workshop marks a critical milestone in their efforts to enhance the quality of education and training in agri-food processing. He added that it would also ensure GTHI equips its students with the necessary skills and knowledge to thrive in the industry.
“We have recognised that the agri-food processing sector plays a pivotal role in the economic development of The Gambia by adding value to our agricultural produce through processing and innovation. It also generate employment opportunities, increase exports, build linkages with tourism and ultimately improve the livelihood of our citizens,” he said.
He added that with collective efforts, stakeholders can ensure the curriculum prepares Gambian students to understand technological advancement, sustainability practice and market demand.
DG Singhateh expressed optimism that the curriculum will instill both knowledge as well as passion for innovation, entrepreneurship and sustainable practice in the students.
“Our goal is to produce graduates who can drive positive change, contribute to the growth of our agri-food processing industry, and ensure we become ambassadors of The Gambia’s culinary heritage,” he said.
Representing the Minister of Tourism and Culture, Dawda Ceesay, the Permanent Secretary at the ministry described agri-food processing and packaging as very important.
“This workshop stands as a testament to our collective efforts in shaping the future of our tourism education and training in our beloved nation,” he said.
“We are here to validate and refine the curricular that will shape the minds and skills of the next generation of hospitality professionals, ensuring that they are equipped with the necessary knowledge and expertise to excel in this dynamic industry,” he also said.
He added that with collective efforts, The Gambia can create a world-class institution that will produce exceptional professionals and also foster the culture of innovation, entrepreneurship and sustainability.
El. Hadji Amath Niasse, Agri-Food Processing expert from Senegal said the validation of the document is in the interest of the entire African continent. He justified that better agri-food and processing in The Gambia would improve the health of people from all African countries, most especially in West Africa.
Nyass assured to continue working with the Gambia Government and tourism sector in particular.