The Honourable Minister of Tourism and Culture Hamat N. K. Bah delivered the keynote speech at the Youth and Culture session of the Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity held in Jeju Island, Republic of South Korea, on June 2, 2017.
He was invited to the event by the Asia-Pacific Centre for Education for International Understanding; a UNESCO affiliated non-Governmental organization in South Korea. The theme of the discussion was the ‘Role of Youth and Culture in Shaping a Peaceful and Sustainable Future’.
In his well-received keynote address, Minister Bah extolled role of Gambian youth in the democratic changes which happened in the country in December 2016.
He stated that now that The Gambia has entered a new phase of democracy and the rule of law, where the voices of the youths are valued, and a sustainable future is indeed possible. On the role of culture in sustainable development, he asserted that “through our culture, we could reposition tourism to become a tool for economic growth and also for international mixing and bridge building.”
The Honourable Minister was received in audience by the Governor of Jeju province at the Jeju International Conference Centre. The Governor and Minister Bah discussed issues related to possible cooperation between Gambia and South Korea in the area of culture and have agreed to work on signing a Memorandum of Understanding to this effect as they have both agreed that culture was the best tool to bring people together and to help re-focus the youth for meaningful contribution to peace and prosperity.
Minister Bah further agreed to work with the Governor to promote a niche tourism product like educational tourism for South Korean scholars interested in The Gambia.
In attendance with the Honourable Minister at the Forum included former US Vice President Al Gore, former Indonesian President Ms. Megawati Soekarnoputri, and several former ministers from the South East Asian countries.
Minister Bah was accompanied to South Korea by Hassoum Ceesay of the National Centre for Arts and Culture.