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COMCEC Training Programme Launched

08 Nov 2016

The COMCEC Project, under the auspices of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), was designed to address the skills gaps in the tourism sector with key objectives to improve the quality and volume of craft products, service delivery and product packaging, enhance innovation, skills development, knowledge sharing and networking amongst project beneficiaries.

Participants at the twenty-day training programme were drawn from The Gambia, Mali and Senegal with the five trainers from Ghana and Gambia. The components of the project include training of trainers in innovative wood carving; innovative tie and dye/batik; visual arts/painting; trash art and training of trainers in innovative product packaging.

At the end of the training, participants would be equipped with core skills in critical areas of innovative products design and packaging in the context of product development, with a view to enhance their operational efficiency and competencies. It would also enable participants to share their new acquired knowledge with other beneficiaries in their respective countries.

Addressing the participants, AbdoullahHydara, Director General of The Gambia Tourism Board highlighted the importance the board attached to capacity development project, noting that GTBoard is mandated to primarily promote Destination Gambia as an interesting and exciting tourism destination and also to develop the tourism product portfolio. This, he added, is meant to ensure that their products meet the expectations of their diverse and varied customer base.

Hydara maintained that the project is in line with the MOTC Strategy for 2015-2020, which seeks to encourage innovation in the industry and increase the multiplier effects of tourism, critical for poverty alleviation.

?This is all geared towards the transformation of The Smiling Coast into a very exciting, and interesting tourism Destination. The Director General, under the leadership of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, the Board of the Governing Body, management, staff and the entire tourism fraternity, thanked H.E, the President, Sheikh Professor Alh. Dr.YahyaA J.J. JammehBabili Mansa for providing the enabling environment for GTBoard to win another COMCEC project.? he stated.

He also thanked the OIC through the COMCEC and Turkish Development Bank for the opportunity to submit and be awarded another project in two consecutive years.

However, the goal of the project, he went on, is to facilitate a sufficient transfer of know-how among member countries, stating that this will be achieved through partnership and networking with handicraft sectors in The Gambia, Mali and Senegal by sharing experience and best practices to address common challenges in a bid to improve tourism service quality in OIC Member Countries.

According to him, giving the trans-national dimension of the project, coupled with the focus on training of trainers, the participants have been drawn from countries as in line with the project implementation framework.

?These participants were carefully selected based on acquisition of certain critical skills set with the overall objective of building and sustaining professionalism in production, packaging and service delivery in the craft sector of the participating countries,? he stated.

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