By Tabora Bojang
The Gambia Government has awarded a concession to Immoland Sarl, a Senegalese investment company to finance, build and operate a five-star hotel in The Gambia as part of preparations for the 2022 OIC summit.
The project, signed at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara conference hall yesterday, will require an investment of $100 million (D5, 100,000, 000).
“Immoland Sarl will invest $100 million to build, operate and transfer knowledge and capacity to Gambian youths,” the company chairman, Abdoulaye Thiam said at the signing ceremony.
According to Mr. Thiam, his desire to invest in Gambia came in May 2019, when he met President Barrow in Saudi Arabia.
“This investment is based on the spirit of creating and promoting inter-African cooperation, especially between Senegal and Gambia. It is my strong belief that we Africans should begin to promote trade and investments among ourselves instead of always depending on the foreign sources,” the Senegalese investor added.
President Adama Barrow in a statement read on his behalf by the vice president, Dr. Isatou Touray said the project when completed will not only provide excellent accommodation for OIC heads of state and delegates during the summit but also enhance The Gambia’s tourism potentials.
He said the occasion marks the strengthening of south-south cooperation and bilateral ties between the countries to “stimulate inclusive socio-economic development of our peoples.”
“However, given the short period of time available before the summit, I implore both parties to this agreement to immediately set to work and ensure smooth and timely implementation of this agreement. The concessionaire (Immoland Sarl) has the capacity to develop the proposed 5-star hotel,” Barrow assured.
OIC Gambia CEO, Yankuba Dibba said the hotel is one of the 5 key strategic milestones in Gambia’s journey towards hosting the 2022 summit of heads of state and government of the 57-member organisation (OIC).
Dibba, who described the project as a “win-win partnership” called for greater collaboration between concerned stakeholders to ensure the project is implemented within the expected timelines.
Tourism Minister, Hamat Bah said “everybody in government is committed to deliver” to ensure the country successfully hosts the summit, as he described President Barrow as an “action-oriented head of state” who only concerns himself with national development.
He disclosed that the project is the “biggest private sector investment in Gambia’s tourism industry” which took two years to negotiate.
“Therefore, the onus is on the contractor to prove himself with the task that he has undertaken. This is a government of action and when we say something, we mean it,” he added.