Arts & Culture Breaking News Creative Culture Entertainment Fashion Music

Min Bah endorses Regulation for National Endowment Funds

By Yunus S Saliu

In a three-in-one engagement, the Minister of Tourism and Culture yesterday, 18th of May 2023 signed the Regulation on the National Endowment Funds for Art and Culture for the first time in The Gambia, launched a report on a survey conducted on the condition of female artists in The Gambia and as well issued certificates to the 100 female artists and cultural professionals in the cultural and creative industries who had taken part in a capacity building training program organized by the NCAC to improve their status and professionalization.

The event was held at the National Museum Courtyard in Banjul and attended by a large number of female artists, especially from Banjul, the Greater Banjul Area, and the West Coast Region.

The signing of the Regulation on the National Endowment Funds for Art and Culture marked the first of its kind for the sector in The Gambia since independence.

Honorable Minister Hamat NK Bah who signed the regulation and launched the survey report before issuing certificates to the 100 artists who took part in the training expressed his utmost pleasure to preside over the closing ceremony of the $30,000.00 project titled: Improving The Status and Condition of Female Artists, “fully funded by UNESCO.”

He explained that the 1980 recommendation concerning the status of the artist calls upon Member States to improve the professional, social, and economic status of artists through the implementation of policies and measures related to training, social security, employment, income and tax conditions, mobility, and freedom of expression.

“This is why when the NCAC saw the call for applications, it received instructions from the Ministry to do all required to apply. And out of the dozens of countries that applied, The Gambia became three that were selected from Africa. This is indeed, a great source of pride to us all,” Hon Hamat applauded NCAC.

Among the components of the project was to design a regulation from the existing NCAC Act, 2007 to operationalize the National Endowment Fund for Arts and Culture to enhance the funding of artistic and cultural programs for the betterment of the economic and social status of artists; improve the status of female artists and cultural professionals in The Gambia through data collection on women artists and cultural professionals to guide further policy-making at improving their status; and Capacity building of 100 female artists and cultural professionals in the cultural and creative industries to improve their status and professionalization.

Kudos to the NCAC, as Minister affirmed that “the NCAC worked with partners and the Ministry and has successfully implemented all these activities as required, a success achieved because the NCAC worked with partners to organize the nationwide consultative process with all relevant stakeholders to guide the design of a Regulation to operationalize the National Endowment Fund for Arts and Culture last October to November 2022.”

More so, “An important component of the project included the development of communication activities for awareness creation on the project, which is why the media have been involved together with social media influencers and artists through their songs.”

“Therefore, I want to assure you that the Regulation will be signed, Gazette and then I will go to Cabinet and engage the National Assembly to get the funds needed to support the Fund. It is my firm belief that Gambian artists can do it better than artists in other countries when they get the needed funding support,” he assured.

Minister Bah sincerely thanked UNESCO Aschberg Project for this great support to the Gambia artists.

Commenting on the Aschberg project, Maimuna Sidibeh, acting Secretary General of the UNESCO NATCOM of The Gambia congratulated the NCAC through the Minister of MoTC and his dynamic team for the successful completion of the project.

She noted that the proposals are usually very competitive and The Gambia comes out among the successful three “is a great achievement for the country.”

She went on that promoting culture and creativity is a major driver of social and economic development as the sector contributes significantly to the global economy “so we can see how important this industry is.”

The acting Secretary General however expressed delight to be part of the event while hoping for more opportunities for female artists in the Gambia for them to progress and see them in higher heights.

Hassoum Ceesay, the Director General of the National Centre For Arts and Culture disclosed that in 2019 under his guidance they completed the Gambia’s 2005 Convention Quadrennial Reporting (QPR), which qualified them to apply for this UNESCO Aschberg Project to improve the status of Gambian artists, a project which now completed.

He quickly thanked the Hon Minister of Tourism and Culture, the NCAC Board, the project team, and of course, the artists who had answered their call for support.

He noted that the signed Regulation will help the artists to get regular funding for their programs “and then improve their economic and social status,” added “this is a great day for Gambian arts and culture. (This is because) for close to 2 decades, we have never been able to operationalize the National Endowment Fund for lack of Regulation.”
Lamin Jarjou, Senior Program Officer at UNESCO NATCOM of The Gambia thanked all the participants among others.


Yunus S Saliu

About Author

Leave a comment

You may also like

Breaking News

Gambia: President Barrow lays the foundation stone of US$100 million Radisson Blu Hotel

The President of The Gambia, His Excellency Adama Barrow has recently laid a foundation stone for Radisson Blu Hotel as

I built an interest in movies because of my favourite actors Yul Edochie and Ken Eric

One among the most talented writers and movie directors in The Gambia whose name rings a bell, and attracted many