By Yunus S Saliu
As the Tourism Diversification and Resilience in The Gambia project (TDRGP) proceeds, the stakeholders in the industry on Monday gathered at the Sunset Hotel, Kotu to validate the Monitoring and Evaluation strategy and also embarked on a weeklong training on results-based monitoring evaluation for the project.
Delivering a statement on behalf of the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Mr. Mamadi Dampha, Deputy Permanent Secretary at MoTC reechoed that the validation event will be followed by a capacity building of stakeholders of the project on Result Based Monitoring and Evaluation.
According to him, the maiden event was not only anchored on the significance of the subject in the effective implementation of the project but it is chiefly anchored on its consistency with the development aspirations of the National Tourism Policy 2022-2032.
DPS Dampha emphasised that project implementation especially on the global stage has taken a new paradigm shift, which he said aligns towards Result Based Project Management and result-based monitoring and evaluation.
“Therefore, for this project and subsequent projects to be counted as the most effectively implemented projects, we must embrace and align ourselves to these new dictates and paradigms,” he noted.
Moving on, he said his Ministry will never relent in its efforts to ensure that best practices in the global sphere, in all walks of life are embraced and mainstreamed into the programs and policies for the development of the tourism sector.
The DPS affirmed that tourism is one of the most important sectors of the Gambia’s economy which contributes between 16-20% of annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Adding that, the sector has been one of the most impacted sectors by the Covid-19 pandemic causing significant job and income loss to entities and people who rely on the sector for livelihood, as well as an overall significant decline in the country’s GDP.
“This prompted the government of the Gambia to solicit the intervention of the World Bank in the Sector to help in shaping the revival of the sector post-pandemic. The result of this initiative was the milestone approval by the Bank of a grant of $68 million through funding from the International Development Association for the implementation of the Tourism Diversification and Resilience in The Gambia Project (TDRGP),” DPS Dampha explained.
Meanwhile, he stated that before the impact of the project will be fully realized, there must be an effective monitoring and evaluation mechanism in place that will provide the framework and tools to be used to monitor the project’s outputs and evaluate outcomes along the resulting chain as enshrined in the results framework.
The deputy permanent secretary quickly thanked the project implementation unit and all stakeholders for making the event a success.
Momodou Ceesay, director of Tourism Diversification and Resilience in The Gambia project (TDRGP) gave a welcoming remark at the validation.