Among the graduating Class of 2020, 100 students were trained in rooms division, 124 in professional cookery and 116 in food and beverage services, all at both foundation and certificate levels.
Since December 2015, when the institute held its first graduation, GTHIcontinues to register tremendous achievements and has become a force to be reckoned with not only in the country, but in neighboring countries as well.
DaoudaNiang, Director General of GTHI described the graduation of Class 2020, as a major milestonein their pursuit to set standards.
To the graduating students,Niangchallenged them to be steadfast and always bear in mind that their success could not have be achieved without their support.
“We did it and this is no doubt a giant step in the journey of our lives. We all worked hard to get to this day and our efforts did not go to waste.”
GTHI DG also lamented that the current global coronavirus pandemic has been very challenging for institutions and even businesses and that GTHI is not an exception.
“We started in May but we have to stop because of Covid-19 and come back after months. With the Covid-19 unsolicited break, everything was at a standstill.”
He revealed that at the beginning, the institute admitted 400 students for the programmethat includedfoundation and certificate levels and out of this, 200 were sponsored by the International Trade Centre (ITC) through Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) and funded by the European Union (EU).
“The other 200 were normal intake trained through the support of The Gambia government through the Ministry of Tourism and Culture (MoTC).”
DG Niang reminded thegraduating class that graduation is not the end of the journey, but instead it is part of the larger journey of life.
“So, wherever your future takes you, let it take you somewhere you can improve your life and play an important role in the socio economic development of others around you.”
He expressed gratitude on behalf of GTHI board of directors and management to ITC, YEP, EU and MoTC for their support to GTHI and by extension to the dedicated academic staff who had worked so hard on very long hours to make sure that the programs were completed on time.
Fatou Mbenga Jallow, project Coordinator of YEP informed that her office valued the existing partnership between YEP and GTHI project funded by EU Emergency Fund for Africa.
She recalled that over the years, through the partnership, lots of young people have been able to acquire skills in tourism and hospitality industry.
Fatouemphasised that through their partners they have supported the GTHI to be able to extend its training upcountry.
This, she believes, is important in their pursuit to empower young people in the rural areas.
“It will be an opportunity for them to also learn the skills in off GTHI campus in Greater Banjul Area. Hopefully, in the next two years GTHI would be able to reach other regions in the country. Again, we are really proud of what the GTHI has been able to register through our partnership and to you students that are graduating today.”
Modou Touray, technical adviser and Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist at YEP noted that YEP target skill areas have potential of high employments.
“During YEP gap analysis, it was noted that the demands in the tourism and hospitality sector are high, that’s whywe now train youth asit is a high potential for them to be employed.”
The graduation was attended by representatives from NCAC, GTBoard, MoBSE officials of GTHI and family and friends of the graduated students.