#National News

YEP recognises Destination Janjangbureh as another hotspot for rural tourism

Feb 9, 2022, 1:48 PM | Article By: Yunus S. Saliu

At the just concluded celebration of the Janjangbureh Kankurang Festival held in the island town of McCarthy, the programme officer, Tourism and Creative Industries of Youth Empowerment Project (YEP), has revealed that YEP recognises the potential of Janjangbureh to become a destination that is able to enrich tourism experiences in rural Gambia.

Ngoneh Panneh explained further that this could also create employment for youth through community-based tourism tapping into the rich culture, natural, and historical heritage of the Island and surrounding communities to create unique products.

It was for this reason that, she said, YEP partnered with the National Centre for Arts and Culture in 2018, to revive the Janjangbureh Kankurang and masquerade festival.

“This is not only to enhance creative tourism that is able to support youth employment but to contribute to the preservation of our heritage as a national treasure that will allow generations to continue to learn the history, preserve the culture and share with the rest of the world,” she stated.

She observed that over the years the festival has realised growth in terms of visitor numbers, national and international recognition, gaining partners and bringing stakeholders together to embrace it as national product.

“We could not be prouder of the community, the youth, and our national partner NCAC under the leadership of the MOTC,” she added.

Panneh maintained that YEP has taken a multi-stakeholder approach in engaging other instrumental and national institutions such as the GTHI, GTB, NYC, local authorities and regional government of Central River Region, international partners and projects to support various initiatives in Janjangbureh and surrounding communities.

“These include supporting the development of the Janjangbureh (JJB) tourism strategic plan, skills training in hospitality services, the refurbishment of the JJB Youth Centre, the operationalisation of the JJB Visitor and Information Centre, and investment on product development in various tours and activities,” she outlined.

She noted that all those are geared towards advancing the value chain ensuring skills, and capacity gaps are reinforced and the product offering of destination JJB is strengthened to ensure harnessing its potential to spread and decentralise the socio-economic benefits of tourism to everyone.

“To reach greater height, I encourage stakeholders more especially the people of the destination Janjangbureh to be more committed, and to embrace inclusiveness and sustainability and as well take more ownership and be proactive in championing the existing investments, and ensuring opportunities are explored to support your communities.”

She thanked the European Union and the government of The Gambia through MoTIE, MOYS and MoTC for the continuous support and partnership.

“The International Trade Centre through the EU funded Youth Empowerment Project has over the years put great emphasis on strengthening the growth and development of the tourism and culture industries through creation and diversification of tourism products and services, skills development, strengthening of national institutions, structures, and communities to spur growth, economic development, and sustainability.”

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