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NCAC Commences Refresher Course For Tour Guides, Others At Heritage Sites

By Yunus S Saliu

With support from the Tourism Diversification and Resilience Project (TDRP) of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, funded by the World Bank, the National Centre for Arts and Culture has embarked on a four-week refresher course for eighty (80) personnel which includes heritage site managers, tour guides, community destination managers, and others related personnel in tourism and culture sector.

The refresher training course kicked start at McCarthy Island on the 6th of December 2023 and will be repeated at Wassu, Juffureh, and Banjul with twenty (20) participants at each heritage site respectively.

Outlined courses/modules for the kicked-start training include climate change adaptation, resilience, tour guiding in heritage sites, and others.

Elaborating on the refresher course training, Hassoum Ceesay, the Director General of the National Centre for Arts and Culture (NCAC) disclosed that the Centre has benefited from the Tourism Diversification and Resilience Project (TDRP) of the World Bank grant to the Ministry of Tourism and Culture (MoTC) to train eighty site managers, tour guides and community managers together with community-based personnel on tour guiding, skills and climate changes, and also significant of heritage.

The first training workshop of this project is “opening here at the Kankurang Center and Museum, McCarthy Island/Janjanbureh, and it is five days of training for each site which includes Wassu, James Island, McCarthy, and in Banjul.”

The training course aims to refresh the knowledge of the concerned tour guides who are the interpreters of the heritage sites of the Gambia.

“So we want to use this opportunity offered by the World Bank project to widen the horizon of our tour guides and also to build a better and more sustainable network between the NCAC, Ministry, GTBoard, and the community hosting these heritage sites,” DG Ceesay indicated.
He established that the role of the community is very important in the conservation and preservation of the heritage site. “This program is meant to prepare the stakeholders on the heritage management, conservation, and preservation for better respond to the need of the local, international visitors and researchers, school children among others.”

Among participants of this course in Janjanbureh were tour guides from McCarthy Island/Georgetown, Mungo Park Memorial Obelisk Here we are having tour guides from Janjanbureh, Mungo Park Obelisk Memorial, Musa Molloh’s Tomb etcetera.

The Director General of the NCAC lamented the impact of climate change on heritage sites noting that most of the heritage sites in The Gambia are at riverine areas such as Mungo Park Obelisk Memorial, Stones Circles, James Island, McCarthy, and Banjul, also.

However, he thanked the Tourism Diversification and Resilience Project for this opportunity and also thanked all tour guides, community leaders, personnel, and all the participants that attended the training course including the resource persons.

Mamat Sallah, Deputy Director for Heritage Monument NCAC expressed that the course will help prepare and refresh participants’ knowledge on conservation particularly how climate change in percentage and how it impacting on other things like culture, population, and so on.

The trainers included Messrs Mamat Sallah, Hassoum Ceesay, Alagie Bojang, Omar Ceesay, and Michael Campbell.


Yunus S Saliu

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