This was disclosed by the minister of Tourism and Culture, Fatou Mass Jobe-Njie, while speaking during salutation visit to Juffureh with a delegation comprising officials of the National Centre for Arts and Culture and the Gambia Tourism Board.
The visit was meant to formally inform the people of the community of preparations for the 11th edition of the festival.
She said: “I guess a large chunk of the budget, should I say all, for this year’s Roots festival will be funded by the President of the republic and the government of The Gambia. We have also written to other institutions to bridge the gap, Gamtel-Gamcel are going to take care of the opening ceremony at the Arch 22 on the 11th may.
“This year we want to organise a festival with a difference. We came to Juffureh-Albreda today to meet with the alkalo, the youths and women to plan the roots pilgrimage because if you hear the word ‘roots’, it is about Kunta Kinteh and since 2006 His Excellency, President Jammeh has been advocating for us to bring the African diaspora to reconnect, reaffirm and rediscover their ancestral identity. This is what the roots have to offer.”
The governor of North Bank Region, Lamin ‘Queen’ Jammeh, is confident his region is prepared to host the bi-annual event by virtue of past experiences and support from the inhabitants.
He assured the delegation: “We are more than prepared because of several comparative advantages that we have in the Roots festival. The first advantage is that it is a fixed location. The second advantage is that it has been happening for a while now, so overtime the people have gathered some experience and thirdly is because of the people’s desire for the revival, maintenance and consolidation of the very culture which is being celebrated. So these factors put together can explain the readiness of the region and the community of Juffureh-Albreda and by extension, the Upper Niumi district in particular for the celebration of culture in diversity”.
The governor also stressed the importance of culture, saying it constitutes a very critical component of human existence as he called on the people of north bank, Juffureh-Albreda in particular, to come out in their large numbers for this year’s event.
By Essa Njie]]>