Embassy DC: 50 to Reconnect to their Gambian Roots, All African-Americans
CARROLLTON, VA – A Virginia based cultural heritage tourism and international project development firm specializing in promoting African-American history is planning to take at least 50 African-Americans to The Gambia this winter to connect with their roots and share their experience, according to Pierre Minteh, Protocol Officer at the Gambian Embassy in DC.
Diversity Restoration Solutions CEO, Eric Spheppard last week had a meeting with the Gambia’s Ambassador to the United States, Sheikh Omar Faye; Managing Director of Ifsal Consulting, Mrs Saffie Jobe; Managng Director of West African Tours, Mrs Angela Andrews and the country’s Director of International Tourism based in the UK, Mrs Ida Jeng.
At a two day business seminar in West Virginia, Ambassador Faye said The Gambia has a huge potential for African-American and historical tourism, while outlining business opportunities in the country and assured that The Gambia and its people are ready to welcome “their brothers and sisters home.”
The Gambia was a slave trading post. It’s river runs deep into mainland Africa with many of the captured slaves brought across the Atlantic from James Island to Maryland and South Carolina, where they were sold before taken south to work in plantations.
One notable slave known in the African-American community is Kunta Kinteh, captured from the village of Juffureh at the estuary of the River Gambia, made famous from the book ‘ROOTS’ by Alex Hailey, a descendant of Kinteh.
In slave posts like James Island, now called Kunta Kinteh Island, there lies remains of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade with a museum.
Every year, The Gambia organizes the Roots Home Coming Festival to help many African-Americans and other black people in the diaspora reconnect with their ancestral home and celebrate history. The festival is a reunion.
Remains of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade on Kunta Kinteh Island in The Gambia
With a dry and warm year round climate, the Gambia is famous tourist destination with golden beaches stretching about 50 miles. Apart from the sand, sun and sea, The Gambia is becoming well known for eco-tourism, bird watching and sports tourism.
Tourism is the fastest-growing sector of the economy, creating employment, especially in the services sector and a huge foreign exchange earner and business delegates were exposed to this and other opportunities The Gambia has to offer at the Elizabeth White University.
The rich history and culture is its biggest asset with the people, whose hospitality and friendliness gave it the name “The Smiling Coast of Africa.”
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