Africa 

Gambia names 1000-seater China-funded edifice after ex-president Jawara

The Gambian government has named a new conference facility after the country’s former president Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara. Jawara, Gambia’s first president died last year.

President Adama Barrow was at the opening of the 1000-seater multi-purpose facility located in Bijilo, a suburb of the capital Banjul. It is located in the Bijilo National Park popularly referred to as “Monkey Park.” The ceremony took place on January 12, 2020.

“I am delighted to have inaugurated the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Centre in Bijilo. Its construction was prioritised as a pre-requisite for hosting the 2022 Organization of Islamic Cooperation, OIC, Summit in Banjul,” the president said adding that the facility was “one of its kind in the region.”

The facility was built as part of “China Aid” to the country. The entire facility which overlooks the sea sits on an area of 14, 000 meters squared. It is made up of a giant United Nations General Assembly – themed conference hall which seats a 1000 individuals at a time.

The president added that he was hopeful that it will attract / host meetings, incentive travels, conventions, conferences and exhibitions.

Some other facilities within the center include: four (4) 200-seat thematic meeting rooms, four (4) press rooms, and news centers, fourteen (14) meeting rooms, two large banquet halls, a VIP lounge, office spaces, and other accessory rooms.

  • The facility is a grant from the People’s Republic of China to the government and people of The Gambia.
  • The cost of the building is $50 million
  • As part of the bilateral agreement, government is responsible for the provision of the 13 HA land at Bijilo, the availability of the utility connections (water, electricity and internet), and doing the soft landscaping for beautification.
  • The design of the building is inspired by the white “waves” of the Atlantic Ocean.
  • The project schedule started on August 31st 2017, and was completed in October 2019.
  • A team of Gambian engineers and architects took part in the construction of the project
  • Local staff will be trained to maintain the building

Gambia, a majority-Muslim nation is a member of the OIC and has been chosen to host the group’s next summit in two years time. The country joined OIC in 1974. The bloc has 57 members with over twenty of them in Africa.

OIC’s African contingent include Guinea, Mali, Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Chad, Niger, Mauritania, Egypt, Sudan, Somalia, Morocco, Djibouti and Nigeria. Other countries include Uganda, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Togo, Benin, Comoros, Burkina Faso and Gabon.

Read more about the facility – Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Center

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