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Sir Dawda conference centre closes to public on March 31

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The Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Centre, SDKJ-ICC, will be closed to the public beginning the 31st of March 2024 until after the summit, Nfally Fadera, the head of brand and communication of OIC Gambia Secretariat, has revealed.

The state-of-the-art SDKJ-ICC will be the venue for the upcoming summit of the heads of state and rulers of the 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation slated for 4-5 May, 2024.The Banjul Summit, which is the 15th of the OIC, is expected to attract over 4,000 delegates from across the Islamic Ummah.

Speaking exclusively to The Standard Wednesday, Mr Fadera said the Secretariat will begin proper refurbishment of the centre ahead of the much-anticipated convergence.“We are going to use this break to embark on some repair and maintenance work in an effort to making sure that the place is in the best condition. Since the completion of the conference centre four years ago, it has been used for several events, both domestic and international. Now that we are in the last mile and the summit is upon us, we thought it would be prudent to close for a while and have a full control of the environment to be able to do all the things that we need,” he said.

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Mr Fadera added that since it is a huge meeting, the venue needs more than just repainting as logistics, entrance units, red carpets, furniture, meeting rooms, tents, etc., all need to be done at the conference centre.

“We cannot do all these things effectively without having the whole place to ourselves. So, this is why we decided to just close it and use the period to ensure all the logistical and events planning needs are in place for the summit,” he noted.The 50-million-dollar centre, funded and built by China, has become the go-to venue for various conferences and Mr Fadera urged the public to bear with them during this break.“My appeal to the public will be to exercise a bit of patience and understanding. Just like I said, what is upon us is a huge task and we have nowhere else other than the conference centre. The conference centre actually was purposefully built for this activity itself. Once the summit is over, then we can carry on using it for other activities,” he said.

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