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Heritage Shares Actions Of HerMaP Gambia Program For Gambia’s Cultural Heritage

By Yunus S Saliu

In striving to actualize its ideas and projects, the Heritage Management Organization, Heritage, has shared two important actions of the EU-funded HerMaP Gambia Program.

These important actions shared through a press release by the Heritage were an introductory workshop tailor-made and delivered for cadres of The Gambia’s National Environment Agency (NEA) and its participation in the 1st International Conference on Responsible Tourism Practices and Cultural Heritage.

HerMaP Gambia is co-funded by the European Union to support the country’s heritage sector so that it can serve as a catalyst for social and economic development and job creation.

According to the release, within the program’s framework, in late January, 18 officers and managers from the NEA attended an Introduction to Heritage Management workshop, delivered by HERITΛGE director Dr. Evangelos Kyriakidis. The training equipped participants with a foundational understanding of heritage management principles while discussions on environmental assessment impact and heritage impact assessment provided valuable insights into safeguarding cultural and natural heritage, laying the groundwork for comprehensive heritage management strategies.

“In a fast-developing country such as The Gambia, it is important that decision-makers are aware of the importance of heritage for creating sustainable economic growth and of heritage management fundamentals,” said Dr. Kyriakidis.

The workshop was then followed up by the launch on January 24-25 of the 1st International Conference on Responsible Tourism Practices and Cultural Management, organized by the Institute of Travel and Tourism of The Gambia (ITTOG) in cooperation with HERITΛGE, in the framework of HerMaP Gambia.

The symbiotic relationship between cultural heritage and responsible tourism was the main focus of the conference, showcasing community-driven initiatives promoting sustainability and providing valuable insights into leveraging tourism for positive impact and fostering sustainable economic development through heritage preservation.

The ITTOG chairman and founder Adama Bah says “It is time to move on from being a paper tiger to scaling up the more active implementation of responsible tourism policy on the ground.”

However, the conference also showcased Gambia’s cultural tourism offerings, including visits to Janjanbureh, the Kankurang Festival, NCAC’s Kankurang Museum, and the activities of the Just Act Youth initiative.

Keynote speakers at the conference, apart from Dr Kyriakidis included ITTOG’s Dr. Adama Bah, Baba Ceesay (HERITΛGE/HerMaP Gambia), Dr. Harold Goodwin (International Tourism Partnership), and Lucy McCombes (Responsible Tourism Expert).

HERITΛGE funding through its HerMaP Gambia program also enabled the participation of two nominated Gambian parliamentarians, Omar Jatto Jammeh and Alieu Baldeh.

About HERITΛGE

The Heritage Management Organization was established in 2008 to enable key heritage managers to independently transform heritage assets into dynamic sources of learning, community identity, and economic development through targeted training. Heritage trains professionals in heritage site management, independently of project specifics. HERITΛGE has trained over 2300 individuals and organizations in 110 countries and is now on course to impact a quarter of global heritage hotspots by 2025, with offices in the US, Greece, and The Gambia.

About HerMaP Gambia

This HERITΛGE program aims to enhance the cultural, creative, and sports industries as engines for social and economic development and job creation in The Gambia. Supporting The Gambia’s heritage sector, the management of Gambian Cultural Heritage is enhanced and valued. HerMaP Gambia is co-funded by the European Union and is being realized in partnership with Gambia’s National Centre for Arts and Culture (NCAC).

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