By Fatou Saho
The vice chairperson of the national organising committee for the Jangjangbureh bicentenary festival, Fatou Mass Jobe, has said they have so far raised D9.9million ahead of the event marking the return of liberated slaves slated from 4 to 7 January 2024.
Addressing a press conference called to sensitize the public on the event, Ms Jobe disclosed that in October the Ministry of Tourism and Culture had a fundraising breakfast meeting with the business community presided over by President Adama Barrow, which was where the said money was raised as at now.
She also disclosed that two of the country’s biggest telecommunications networks Africell and Comium have also donated D1,400,000 and D600,000 respectively.
Tourism Minister, Hamat NK. Bah, said the event will attract dignitaries from home and abroad with several heads of state already confirming their availability as well as the Commonwealth Secretary General.
“We will involve any surviving family member of the ex-slaves. There would be a symposium, that will give an insight of what slavery was, what Jangjanbureh is, what Gambia is and Africa at large. There will also be a Senegambia trade fare which of course would help our business community, our young ones and companies to showcase what they can sell and what people can see from what they have. We want everybody to display their cultural talents and artistic knowhow. The houses that were built for the slaves when they came back, one of those houses is still in Jangjanbureh and I am sure people will be interested to see how we were treated as black people when we were freed from slavery and brought back to this country,” Minister Bah said.
He commended the community of Jangjanbureh for their fantastic job, even managing to establish a functional secretariat to make work better for them as an institution.