Jangjanbureh Kankurang festival recalls colonial era memories

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

The three-day annual Jangjanbureh Kankurag festival which was organised by National Center for Arts Culture (NCAC), Gambia Tourism Board (GTB) and the community of Jangjanbureh has brought back memories of Jangjanbureh’s cultural heritage of the colonial era.

The festival which started on Friday was attended by thousands of people across the country, including senior government officials, international organizations and cultural groups. It is among Gambia’s National Development Plan (NDP) targets to reactivate Gambia’s cultural heritage

Tourism and Culture minister Hamat Bah said the festival is one of the most successful festival being organised in the country.

He said his Ministry has distributed over 550,000 dalasis to twenty five festival organizers and emphasised government commitment to Gambia’s cultural revival and making people to take ownership of what belongs to them.  “For the first time, government is giving resources to support organisations to organize festivals throughout the country.”

Hassoum Ceesay, NCAC acting director general said organisers of the festival has strong partnership since 2017 when the European Union funded Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) and the NCAC worked with stakeholders and prepared a strategy to use culture and heritage to create jobs and empower young people at community level.”

Mr. Ceesay said these are the key strategies in the National Development Plan (NDP) to guide government development work, saying among the first activities that NCAC embarked on after the paper work was training a dozen of Jangjanbureh youth on Tour Guide especially on the historical content of the heritage site of the Island.

Seraphine Wakana, UN resident coordinator in The Gambia said Janjanbureh Kankurang festival is one of the richest cultural experiences in The Gambia, noting that tourism is a big economic driver in The Gambia.

She said the tourism industry is not just about money and jobs but also about cultural, heritage, and historical preservation and safeguarding the environment and sharing experience with others.

The Gambia National Development Plan aims to promote “an inclusive and culture-centered tourism for sustainable growth.” This objective is aligned to many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda.

Author: Njie Baldeh