May 23, 2012, 12:57 PM
The training, organised by The Gambia Tourism Board, in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, was funded by COMCEC under the aegis of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), based in Ankara, Turkey.
The goal of the project is to facilitate a sufficient transfer of know-how among member countries.
This will be achieved through partnership and networking with handicraft sectors of The Gambia, Mali and Senegal by sharing experience and best practices to address common challenges and improve tourism service quality in OIC member countries.
Delivering his remarks at the closing ceremony, Minister of Tourism and Culture Benjamin Roberts commended the OIC for funding the project intended to enhance the capacity of the three countries – The Gambia, Senegal and Mali - in the area of craft.
He added: “We are very appreciative of the efforts made here and the objective of this training and from the review of the work that has come out of this twenty-six days of training we know that the objective has been met.”
He said he would like the network and partnership that had begun between the three countries - The Gambia, Senegal and Mali - in the training to be enhanced further so that it continued to go from strength to strength.
GTBoard Director General Abdoulie Hydara, in his remarks, said the capacity building programme was the first of its kind, in recent times, to be rolled out by the tourism fraternity.
He said through such joint programmes, the capacity of craft producers would be built in special areas such as the five critic components of tie and dye (Batik), visual arts (painting) wood carving, trash to treasure, and innovative product packaging.
The central plank of the project is the training programme to augment the skills of craft producers and “this has been achieved” through capacity building including partnership building and networking with handicraft sectors of The Gambia, Senegal and Mali, by sharing experience and best practices with a view to addressing common challenges and improve tourism service quality in OIC member countries.