Addy-Nayo was speaking at a recent ceremony held at the Rural Development Institute (RDI) in Mansa Konko during the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for 8 plots of lands by the Gambia Association of Local Government Authorities (GALGA) to The Gambia Wrestling Association and the National Centre for Arts and Culture (NCAC).
He made a comparison to the situation back in Ghana where Chiefs and politicians connive to make lands available for illegal mining and illegal-logging which degrades and destroys the environment and the livelihoods and future of young men and women.
In contrast, the Local Government Authorities and Chiefs in The Gambia are collaborating to make land available for the building of traditional wrestling arenas, protecting and promoting their culture and traditions, building the African identities of their young men and women, developing cultural infrastructure in local communities, protecting the environment and creating local jobs in the community – based tourism industry.
Kebba Darboe, deputy governor of Lower River region, said culture is one of the most powerful assets for development.
He expressed delight to support the Gambia Association of Local Government Authorities in collaboration with the Area Councils and Chiefs to sign over large tracts of traditional land for the project for Gambia’s traditional wrestlers so they can promote the Art of Traditional Wrestling and as cultural space for social cohesion, discipline of the youth and job creation in the community.
The 3-year project is being supported by the European Union in partnership with Gambia Wrestling Association, Gaye Njorro Foundation and Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industries (GCCI) as lead partner. The partnership is expected to build a number of traditional wrestling arenas across the country, alongside support to vocational handicraft industries in local communities to promote indigenous industries and complement the local tourism industry, protect the environment and create jobs for young men and women to curb irregular migration.
The event, which saw the signing of the tripartite agreement among the President of the Gambia Wrestling Association, Sering Modou Faye, Director General National Centre for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Hassoum Ceesay and the host of the event, chairman of the Mansa Konko Area Council and President of the Gambia Association of Local Government Authorities (GALGA) Landing B. Sanneh, ended with a video message by the European Union Delegation in The Gambia.