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Gambia: Tourism MSME Data Collection and Ecosystem Analyses Report Validated

By Yunus S Saliu

The Ministry of Tourism and Culture (MoTC) with relevant stakeholders on Friday, 26th May 2023 gathered at the Senegambia Beach Hotel, Kololi to validate the Tourism Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Data Collection and Ecosystem Analysis Report.

The validation of the Tourism MSME Data Collection and Ecosystem Analysis Report was hosted by the Tourism Diversification and Resilience Project Implementation Unit (PIU) under the Ministry of Tourism and Culture.

The Tourism Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Data Collection and Ecosystem Analysis Report is part of the activities of the implementing tourism Diversification and Resilience in the Gambia project supported by the World Bank Group.

The project among other things aims to support the diversification and climate resilience of the tourism sector at selected destinations.

Presiding over the validation on behalf of Hon Hamat NK Bah, Minister of Tourism and Culture, Mr. Dawda Ceesay, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, highlighted the two components of the tourism diversification and resilience project in The Gambia.

The two components include one, strengthening institutional and policy framework, improving capabilities and access to funds for tourism-related micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) suppliers, and two, infrastructure support for the diversification and resilience of the tourism sector including the Kunta Kinteh Island and coastal erosion rehabilitation works.

PS Ceesay reminded the gathering of the validated report saying it falls under component one of the tourism diversification and resilience project in the Gambia. This, he said, will “help us increase participation of tourism MSMEs in the sector and enhance their value contribution, which is the main objective of subcomponent 1b” of the project.

He said, “The results of this study on tourism MSME ecosystem will help us to understand how to improve MSMEs capabilities, skills, and investments within the tourism sector by using empirical evidence that has been gathered at the source.”

On behalf of the Minister, he expressed delight for seeing both public and private sector institutions as well as training institutions engaged during the study process, in addition to the core tourism sector stakeholders.

“The governance framework for the project through the project implementation unit (PIU) the two technical working groups for each component and the apex body in the form of the project steering committee (PSC),” he stated.

Meanwhile, he thanked the donor community and specifically the World Bank for the continued support of the Gambia’s development Agenda and for approving this milestone project in the tourism sector.

Sainabou Sey, Operations Officer at the World Bank Group said 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.

These goals, she outlined, are specified in the government’s development strategies including the National Development Plan that recognizes the private sector as the principal actor for future growth, transformation, and job creation, particularly in agribusiness and tourism sectors.

She added further that World Bank has been working closely with the Ministry of Tourism and Culture in the context of tourism diversification and resilience project which aims to move the Gambia in the direction of private sector-led sustainable growth.

“The Gambia’s private sector is mainly comprised of micro, small, and medium enterprises which are mostly informal, across various sectors, with few formal companies, They contribute about 20 percent of GDP and employ approximately 60 percent of the urban labor force,” she explained.

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Yunus S Saliu

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