Minister Bah urges NCAC’s board to scale up national troupe establishment

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

The minister of Tourism and Culture, has challenged the newly inaugurated Board of Directors for the National Center for Arts and Culture to expedite efforts to establish the National Troupe of The Gambia and as well direct the realisation of royalties collection for Gambian artists through the Copyright laws.

Addressing the newly appointed Board of Directors for the center, Hamat Bah, minister of Tourism and Culture informed the board that the President His Excellency Adama Barrow has prioritized tourism and culture in the National Development Plan and has specifically challenged the ministry to establish the National Troupe of The Gambia. He stated that his ministry will continue to engage NCAC and the Board on that so that the country will have a full fledged National Troupe as soon as possible.

Minister Bah further urged the board to as well treat the issue of collecting royalties as urgent, saying “another urgent business for you to direct is the realisation of royalties collection for Gambian artists through the Copyright Laws.”

He disclosed that in 2018, his office signed the Copyright Regulations after five years of delay and dilly dallying. Now that it is signed, he said, the ministry will engage their partners to assist the Gambia Collecting Society Board to have seed money to start collecting royalties for the Gambia’s long suffering artistes. He assured artistes that the government is with them, cares for them and will restore back what is due to them.

The minister therefore congratulated the board members and thanked them for accepting the appointment.

Cordu Jabang Senghore, Permanent Secretary – MoTC, highlighted the achievements of the ministry and the culture sector over the past two years. She said the MoTC in any platform can stand and celebrate the fact that culture is one of the priorities of the present government as “culture is no longer a tag along sector.”

She said culture now stands alone and it is important to the government and the President of the country is “very much looking to see that the objective and strategy listed out for the culture sector are realised in the NDP 2021 target.”

As government increased the amount of fund allocated to culture, the PS reiterated the NCAC’s core mandate which is to preserve culture and develop Gambia’s arts and culture as NDP provides for the accomplishment to start under the strategy objectives of promoting an inclusive culture center, tourism for sustainable growth, with government’s goal “to make tourism a highly competitive and sustainable industry that is people and culture - centered and that celebrates our cultural heritage and contributes to socio-economic development.”

Oremi Joiner, chairman of the Board, thanked the ministry for having faith in him and re appointing him for the second time as chairman of the Board of Directors. He reflected on their past achievements and the support received from the ministry that enabled them to achieve their tasks. 

He admitted that it was not easy for them to achieve all they had achieved in the first two years but promised that the board members will not relent in their efforts. With full assurance, he said the board members took the appointment wholesomely and they will start work rigorously to achieve the level of competence they want NCAC to achieve.

Foday Baldeh, on behalf of the appointed members thanked the government of The Gambia through Ministry of Tourism and Culture for the appointment.

The newly inaugurated members include Oremi Joiner - Chairman, Modou Jagne - member Foday Baldeh, - member, Modou Joof – ex officio, Professor Victor Ohwutu – ex officio.

Author: Yunus S Saliu