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1.3m Euro Hotel School Foundation Stone Laid

Aug 7, 2009, 6:41 AM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah

The Minister of Tourism and Culture Hon Nancy Njie last Thursday 30th July 2009, laid the foundation stone for the new Gambia Hotel School, at a ceremony held at the school's premises in Kanifing North.

The project, according officials, is worth 1.3m Euro and is funded by the Spanish government with a view to helping Gambian youths learn skills and knowledge in order to develop themselves.

In her opening statement, Madam Nancy Njie, the Minster of Tourism and Culture said the laying of the foundation stone is a significant milestone in the process of any development orientation. She added that the tourism development master plan identifies clearly the need for a hotel training institute to meet the demands of the tourism sector.

She, however, noted that tourism contributes about 16% of the GDP and employed a substantial number of the youths, saying that the government is aware of the need for skills training, which she said, is a very important component in our efforts towards poverty alleviation and youths empowerment.

Madam Nancy recalled that the government of Spain and the Gambia jointly agreed and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), noting that the principal objective of the MOU was to provide young men and women of the Gambia with technical qualification that will equip them for entry into the labour market.

According to the Tourism and Culture Minister, the project is laudable and it is hoped that it will supplement government efforts in trying to improve on the infrastructural and institutional development of the Gambia's hotel industry.

He also used the occasion to commend the Spanish government and all their partners.

For his part, Javier Benosa, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Spain, said that the aim of this initiative is to foster the training of young students, and to give them better chance to promote their professional lives.

The Spanish Ambassador believes that the project can have an extremely positive effect on the tourism industry of the Gambia, saying the Gambia has a lot to offer on this field.

He said the tourism industry in the Gambia is one of the main sources of income, which has a clear modernisation effects on society. Ambassador Benson stated that investment in education is essential in the medium and long-term.

Speaking earlier, the Director-General of the National Training Authority, Mr. Ousman G Nyang, said the original proposal for the utilisation of the 1m Euro pledge from the Spanish Labour Minister in August 2007, was aimed at upgrading their programmes in the training institutions for specific areas of the economy, namely Fisheries, Agriculture, Construction and Tourism.

According to him, the Gambia Hotel School project proposal stood out among many presented to the Spanish government, saying that it was revisited with modification which now stands at 1.3 million Euro.

Mr. Nyang, however warned that "his office with mandate will continue to monitor and supervise courses delivery and services for quality assurances element which we always insist upon for compliance and relevance to Gambia's needs".

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