ASSET holds AGM
Monday, February 16, 2009
The Association of Small Scale Enterprises in Tourism (ASSET) last Wednesday held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the Village Gallery and Restaurants, Kololi.
ASSETS was founded in year 2000 with the sole aim of assisting and supporting small scale enterprise in tourism to trade fairly and pursue sustainable/responsible tourism development which contributes to the conservation of the physical environment and the social and economic welfare of the Gambian community.
The association is currently with over 80 registered individuals and association enterprises in different levels like accommodation and restaurants; arts and craft; ground tour operators; fashion and beauty designers; service providers; community based initiatives among others.
According to Badou Bobb, the outgoing chairperson of ASSET, the association was set up to provide assistance to members with product development marketing, training quality control and access to market. "The association is to contribute to sustainable development within the Gambia tourism industry using the principle and practice of responsible tourism" he said. He added that ASSET also protects small scale business' interest in the mass market tourist industry.
In the area of training, Badou Bobb said they have done better than they did in 2008 but training was limited due to the hosting of Mboka 2008. Better still, he added, there were overseas training for four ASSET members, official tourist guides, among other trainings.
The outgoing chairperson exprssed delight over the successes ASSET registered noting that the association has tremendously improved on its administration and that is also able to form some partnerships with various associations. He also disclosed that some members of the association won some awards in the year on review.
"In spite of numerous challenges that are facing ASSET, their future plans include joint marketing and product development with The Gambia Tourism Authority (GTA), joint vision with stakeholders on sustainable/responsible tourism development. As strength lies in unity, ASSET would like to replicate to others- Mboka 2008 which was a good pointer. The association also wishes to own its office complex which is a star project and have ASSET cultural revival featuring all the ethnic groups" he said.
Olivia Gillen, treasurer of ASSET, gave a quick run down and presented the account of the year ended. Nomination and election of new executive members where also held at the AGM. The election show through three women at the high ranks to head the association for the next twenty-four months.
The newly elected executive members for the association are Ida Cham- chairperson; Jainaba Gaye- vice chairperson; Olivia Gillen- Treasurer and Abdou Dampha - secretary general with other six members to join the executive wagon for the stewardship of the association. Ida Cham, the newly elected chairperson, thanked the members of the association for the confidence bestowed on her and other members, to serve as the executive officers of the association. She assured that they will work as expected but quickly sought for members' support.
Author: by Yunus S Saliu