EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: Tourism and culture minister Hamat NK Bah Tuesday morning presided over the launch of youth and trade roadmap for Gambia’s creative industries at Paradise Suites Hotel in Kololi.
The road map sets out a plan to support innovation and improve on the productive capacity of SMEs, strengthen institutional support, increase economic value and market access to foster economic growth, employment creation, entrepreneurial ventures and skills development.
It also outlines a plan of action to activate economic opportunities related to skills development, entrepreneurship, market-led value chain development and sector coordination.
Minister Bah said the road map outlines plans of action for development and is aligned to the priority areas of the National Development Plan.
He said it outlines a detailed strategy alongside a five year plan, including the protection of intellectual properties. “It is important that Gambia enforces intellectual properties regulations. Creative industries incubators and hubs will create opportunity for the development of the sector.”
He assured that his ministry and the NCAC will closely work to ensure that the rights of Gambian artists is met.
Director General of National Center for Arts and Culture, Hassoum Ceesay said they value the document and hope it will bring significant development changes in Gambia’s creative industries.
Ambassador of the European Union, Attila Lajos said EU is enhancing its support through the road map, saying it is the initial start serving as a compass for the development of the country’s creative industries.
“We hope that this will help to promote the cultural diversity of The Gambia. Tourist industry contributes 24 percent of the GDP and by overcoming seasonality, we hope that percentage will grow. Today is significant as for the first time, Gambia’s creative industry will have its own road map. The document is an initial step to move to action.”
He said to make it a success, the road map need to be own by all the stakeholders who need to be in the driving seat.
The launch of the document marks the end of a series of countrywide consultations that started in June 2019 and brought together public and private organizations, entrepreneurs, TVET institutions and youth associations to identify youth employment opportunities. The roadmap directly supports Gambia’s National Development Plan.
Dorothy Tembo, deputy executive director of International Trade Center said the document presents a detailed plan of action for the development of the creative industries. This is the next step of the many we have taken three years ago.
Modou Lamin Sowe, Secretary General Gambia Writers Association call on the government to invest in creative industry and the YEP and partners to continue training the industry for the full realisation of the road map.
Director of the Goethe Institute, Philip Kuppers we want to get more engaged in language. We want to present Gambian artists with international artists. The main idea is to present the beauty of The Gambia.
Mr Kuppers said the document was developed under the guidance of the Ministry for Tourism and Culture and the National Centre for Arts and Culture, with technical assistance from the International Trade Centre (ITC) as part of the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP).
The Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) aims to support youth employment and entrepreneurship in the country in order to address the economic root causes of irregular migration. The project is funded by the European Union (EU) under the Emergency Trust Fund for Africa.