part of the preparations to host the National Roots Homecoming Festival for
2020, the minister of Tourism and Culture, Hamat N.K. Bah, on Wednesday
launched the National Organising Committee (NOC) in preparations for the event.
official launching which was attended by senior government officials as well as
other stakeholders was held at The Gambia Tourism and Hospitality Institute
Bah said since they took office, the ministry has been working hard to
resuscitate the festival and to give it a national outlook and character,
adding during the second republic, the roots festival was more of a Kanilai
show, and not a national character. “It was not reflecting in the Gambian
culture,” he said, noting that the people themselves should own it particularly
the private sector.
the last summer, my ministry presented a paper that the Roots Festival should
be revived although with a new face, and my team has carefully gone through the
various suggestions made at the conference regarding roots as a festival.”
Bah tasked the NOC to help the ministry in organising the National Roots
Homecoming Festival in December 2020, adding that that edition of the festival
would have a new look and reorientation and spread to all the corners of the
country including Juffureh. He outlined that its objective would be to reunite
the people of African descent, while promoting The Gambia and her cultural and
historical values. It is also to further encourage tourism investment in the country
and also forge closer ties between The Gambia and Pan African people for mutual
cooperation and development.
Nyang, director general, Gambia Tourism and Hospitality Institute (GTHI), said
festivals are key in offering products to any destination, adding the Gambia is
of efforts have been made to promote The Gambia, but hosting festival like this
will give us another advantage in making the destination to where we want it to
be,” he said.
Jabang-Senghor, permanent secretary, Ministry of Tourism and Culture, said the
purpose of instituting the National Organising Committee is to work on the
National Roots Homecoming Festival scheduled to take place in December 2020.
Jabang-Senghor said in welcoming the NOC members, particularly the new members
into the tourism family, “I would like to extend the Hon minister’s
appreciation for accepting to serve in the committee.”
added that the task and responsibility of the committee are quite substantial,
extensive with clearly laid out goals and objectives.
festival is to showcase the extra-ordinary and rich cultural heritage of the
Gambian people, thereby promoting our country as a cultural tourist destination
and investment in our community.”
Njie, chairman National Organising Committee thanked Minister Bah and all those
who are working with him in the committee.
Ceesay, director general, NCAC, said in 2017 when the Minister Bah came to
office, he tasked the NCAC to work on reviving ‘Roots’, but in a branded fashion,
adding that ‘Roots’ as a festival should come back, but not as it was before.
national chairman will work with us to bring different people with diverse
Ceesay said brining the media houses into the committee is something very
important particularly in the area of publicity.