Fajara Craft Market opens for business
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
The ultra modern building of Fajara Craft Market located at the heart of the Tourism Development Area (TDA) Kotu is now fully open for business. The inauguration of this new edifice was on Saturday, 18th February 2012 and presided over by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation Secretary General as accorded him by The Gambia’s Honourable Minister of Tourism and Culture (MoTC), Aja Fatou Mass Jobe-Njie.
In a well attended ceremony that recorded some important dignitaries among are line of Ministers from different ministries, government officials, various stakeholders in tourism sector, tourists from across Europe and as well United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Deputy Regional Director for Helda Thomas.
The craft market which was built at the amount of D5.5m by the sponsor and contractor, Construct Gambia LTD superseded all other existing craft markets complex in the TDA and as well a remarkable one in the history of the industry. This is due to the fact that the Honourable Minister of Tourism and Culture gave the honour and privilege to the special guest, Taleb Rifai, UNWTO Secretary General who was invited by the MoTC Minister to grace The Gambia’s 47th Independence Anniversary to officially open the new craft market complex.
Obviously, it is a decision of tourists to always embark on a trip for various purposes, some travel to seek leisure away from their daily up and down – work routines. Others wish to see and experience the diversity of countries around the world. Still there are others that are interested in the history and culture of the destinations they visit. Similarly, there are those that travel to invest in businesses as well as visit friends and families. Whatever your travelling decision might be as a traveller, you will want to take home a souvenir of wherever you visit as a memory of your journey.
To get this good souvenir, the important of craft market became relevant. Reference to the Secretary General of UNWTO words “it is adequate to develop craft markets in tourism establishments or areas, to offer tourists variety of craft products that will meet their individual tastes.” Therefore craft markets have important part playing in the sector because it immensely adds value to the tourism experience as it creates lots of opportunities to the local inhabitants. And as well contribute to wealth generation and poverty reduction.
When the Secretary General of UNWTO was called upon by the Gambia Honourable Minister of Tourism and Culture, to inaugurate the ultra modern craft complex, the Secretary General said “I am particularly pleased that the government of the Gambia has taken giant strides within its tourism development areas to construct craft markets, at strategic locations for the benefit of tourists as well as local communities.”
He described the complex as a magnificent and shown his excitement about the sponsor and contractor, this is according to him that he was told that “it is constructed by an investor in the tourism industry in order to assist the ‘Fajara Craft Market Association.’” He commended their, Construct Gambia LTD, efforts for their support to the tourism sector of The Gambia.
The edifice is truly now open for business, to make it a sustainable and second to none facility, the Fajara Craft Market Association, with their president Mariama Njie, will have to take good care of the market complex. Not only taking care of it will make it a sustainable and second to none, but also, the member should continue to assist and collaborate with each other so that their products being sold in the market will be of good quality and worthy of emulation. This makes it important for craftsmen to be more innovative and creative by sharing expertise and best practices on production methods that will surely add value to their products. This will as well bring reputation to the market and The Gambia’s products.
In globalized and competitive world, it is imperative for tourism destinations to be more innovative as ever, and to find ways and means of attracting tourists. And all these are parts of good and quality delivery. Therefore, let everyone make the complex a motivation for the vendors and craftsmen in their contribution to the development of Gambian Tourism.
It worth mentioning that this new Fajara Craft Market has more canteen space than before, with modern facilities and a more environmentally friendly market that tourist and other visitors to the market will appreciate. It is also having a beautiful mosque upstairs of the complex with a beautiful view of Fajara Golf Court behind, while the Atlantic Ocean is in front of it. So for a best moment in time visitors of the Gambia and the craft market can enjoy and buy as many things as they can.
The opening of this edifice was characterised with different cultural performances from different cultural groups. Among them are Fajara Jembeh, Suso Brothers, Medina Sabach and Kabakel Cultural Groups. Immediately after the opening Mariama Njie, led the Minister and other guests to conduct a tour round the craft market complex in a joyous mood.EndFragment
Author: Yunus Saliu