Official Visit of Her Excellency Dr. Isatou Njie-Saidy, Vice-president of the Gambia to UNWTO, 9th June 2014



Dr. Taleb Rifai, UNWTO Secretary-General, had the pleasure of welcoming Her Excellency Dr. Isatou Njie-Saidy, Vice President of the Republic of the Gambia and her delegation at the UNWTO headquarters on 9 June 2014.

Her Excellency Dr. Isatou Njie-Saidy was paying a courtesy call to the UNWTO Secretary-General whilst on an official visit in Spain.  During their meeting, her Excellency stressed on the safety and security aspect of her country, its people, its culture and the flora and fauna which are all the unique selling points of The Gambia.  She reaffirmed that ´tourism has put The Gambia on the map´ and that it is now important to diversify their tourism industry in order to ensure the continual growth and wealth for the people of The Gambia. As 75% of women are farmers in the Gambia, the gender issue is at stake. Mainstreaming women and youth within the tourism industry is an area that the Federation of The Gambian women that was set up in 2011 is working towards in order to improve the livelihoods of the local population mostly women. They have identified key priority needs areas that require support and assistance to provide the framework especially for the women working in The Bandula´s (tourism markets) within the tourism and agricultural sector in The Gambia. The need for specialised training and capacity-building for these women as well as female farmers is crucial and are primarily needed in areas of managing a business, producing qualitative and diversified products and the packaging and marketing of these products.

Having identified these key priority areas for support, the UNWTO Secretary-General has keenly pledged the assistance of UNWTO to support The Gambia with their request.