The Ministry of Tourism and Culture (MoTC) of The Gambia has inaugurated new Board of Directors for two tourism parastatals in the country – the Gambia Tourism and Hospitality Institute (GTHI) and Gambia Tourism Board (GTBoard).
The event was held on Monday at the Gambia Tourism and Hospitality Institute in Kanifing, and presided over by the Minister of Tourism and Culture, Honorable Hamat NK Bah.
The seven-member board for the Gambia Tourism Board is chaired by Mr Batch Samba Faye.
Other member includes Messrs Malleh Sallah, Baboucar Suwareh and ex-officio members include Kodou L Jabang-Senghore – PS MoTC, Catherine Niang – DDG Gambia Civil Aviation Authority, CEO GIEPA and Aboubacarr Camara – acting DG GTBoard, as Secretary to the BoDs.
And the eight-member Board of Directors for the Gambia Tourism and Hospitality Institute will be chaired by Dr Mommodou Fanneh and other members are Messrs Baboucarr Mass Mbye, Abdoulie Tambedou, Mrs Haddy Fofana while the ex-officio members are Kodou L Jabang-Senghore PS MoTC, PS MOHERST, DG GTBoard, DG GTHI, Secretary to the BoDs.
In his inaugural speech, Honorable Minister Hamat NK Bah congratulated the newly appointed board of directors for the two institutions.
He expressed the Ministry appreciation on the good jobs the previous boards of the two institutions had done within their term.
Going by the country’s National Development Plan (NDP), he said among all the Ministries it is only two Ministries – Justice and Tourism and Culture that met all their targets on the NDP two years consecutively.
He noted that all the appointed new board members “have wider experiences, knowledge and ability to deliver to make positive changes,” while he harped on the importance of board of directors to any institution.
He went on assured both the board of directors of GTBoard and GTHI of government’s supports as they have big roles to play in governing the institutions. He further expressed delight on the occasion describing the inauguration of the two boards a ‘remarkable one.’
Honorable Bah said the world which destination Gambia is not an exception is in a difficult and unpredictable era “and this means new measures and ways of getting things done, as it is no longer business as usual, needs to be taken.”
According to him, change is always difficult because it is full of uncertainties “when you bring a change some people will resist change because they don’t know what it will bring.”
This he said is natural and human. With COVID-19, he said, thing can never be the same again until vaccine for the virus is available “but in the absence of vaccine the situation will remain unpredictable but we cannot also succumb to Covid-19 100 percent. We have to fight it back to survive,” he said.
Again the Minister congratulated the board members on their appointment which was wholeheartedly approved by President Adama Barrow.
The new boards chairman Dr Mommodou Fanneh and Mr Batch Samba Fye of GTHI and GTBoard respectively on behalf of their board members thanked Gambia government through Minister of Tourism and culture for the appointment and approval.
They both assured the Minister of Tourism and Culture their readiness to work together with the institutions as expected of them.
Bubacarr Camara, acting Director General of GTBoard thanked the Ministry for the trust and confidence has in him and team. He noted challenges which Covid-19 pandemic continues to cause to the livelihood of the people and their lifestyle with the industries all around the globe as tourism is the most hit industry.
He assured that with the help of the team they will do all it can to take tourism industry in the Gambia forward. Dawda Niang, DG GTHI expressed gratitude to the outgoing Board of Directors for their guidance and hard work with the GTHI since 2017.
He noted that together with them (former BoDs) the institute has achieved over 80 per cent of its NDP target. He added that with the new board, “as a sector the relationship will continue to be in a better stage as we will make sure we are in line with the target.”