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 Excitement sweeps as Gambia hosts OIC Summit

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Momodou Posted - 30 Apr 2024 : 11:59:38
Excitement sweeps as Gambia hosts OIC Summit on Saturday
The Point: Apr 29, 2024

By: Isatou Ceesay Bah & Makutu Manneh

Excitement is sweeping across the country as The Gambia prepares to host the 15th Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Summit slated for Saturday 4 May 2024.

With all eyes turning towards the West African nation, the prospect of showcasing its vibrant culture, stunning landscapes and warm hospitality to a global audience ignites a sense of pride and possibility.

The OIC is the second largest inter-governmental organisation with a membership of 57 states spread over four continents. The 15th Islamic Summit of Heads of State and government of the OIC will be held in the country from the 4th to 5th May 2024 with the theme: ‘Enhancing Unity and Solidarity through Dialogue for Sustainable Development.” The country is expected to host over 3,000 delegates from across the world.

In light of this, The Point finds it imperative to seek the perspectives and insights of Gambians regarding the forthcoming OIC Summit.

Aminata Coker, a business woman, expressed her excitement for her beloved homeland and the myriad opportunities the OIC Summit will usher into our nation. She added that hosting the prestigious event presents The Gambia with a momentous chance to showcase its potential on a global platform, forge strong diplomatic ties, and potentially catalyse economic prosperity through heightened tourism and investment.

“It highlights The Gambia's burgeoning significance in the realm of international affairs. Nonetheless, the success of the endeavor hinges on meticulous planning, infrastructural preparedness and ensuring that the event yields lasting benefits for our country and its citizens,” she said.
Ms. Coker noted that she was anticipating the arrival of the esteemed guests and the opportunity for them to experience firsthand the richness of Gambia’s culture, the splendour of our landscapes and the warmth of our hospitable smiles.

Sarata Ceesay, a youth leader, emphasised the significance of hosting such a prestigious event in The Gambia, citing its potential to positively impact our economy. She noted that the accompanying benefits would not only strengthen relationships between The Gambia and other OIC Member States but also foster sustainability and resilience within our nation. The opportunity, she highlighted, holds immense potential for long-term growth and development.

Basiru Jaye, programme officer for ICT and Innovation who doubles as the YouthConnekt Gambia Focal Point, disclosed that as a youth leader in The Gambia, he was excited and hopeful about the prospects that the OIC summit would bring to our country.
“This is a historic occasion that demonstrates our dedication to global solidarity, cooperation, and growth. Let us take advantage of this chance to exhibit the best of The Gambia and collaborate to create a brighter future for everyone,” he said.

However, he advised that as we welcome representatives from all OIC member states, we must embrace diversity and promote mutual understanding and tolerance across different cultures, faiths and backgrounds.
Mr Jaye indicated that the summit provides a forum for debate and collaboration, allowing them to learn from one another and build relationships based on common values and goals.
“The Gambia must work together to ensure that the summit is well-organised, with a focus on youth and women's involvement, inclusivity and the creation of new possibilities for everybody. It is critical to prioritise our citizens' needs and concerns, particularly those of the most vulnerable, and to embrace this opportunity to solve structural challenges while also promoting social justice and equality,” he noted.

Modou Lamin Age- Almusaf Sowe, an author and founder of Young Writers Association of The Gambia, described The Gambia hosting the OIC Summit as a significant moment for the country. He added that the event presents a feel of pride and excitement for citizens to showcase their culture, hospitality and potential on an international stage.

Sowe added that The Gambia stands to benefit greatly from hosting the OIC Summit as it will attract international delegates, and therefore boost the country’s economy through tourism and infrastructural development.
The summit, he added will provide The Gambia with the chance to strengthen diplomatic ties with other member countries and present a unique opportunity to promote inter-cultural dialogue and understanding.
He further stated that during the bilateral discussions, the government should focus on key issues such as economic cooperation, sustainable development and security collaboration.
“I hope that the event will not only showcase Gambia's potential and capabilities but also contribute to the overall development and progress of the Islamic world. I look forward to witnessing the positive impact of the summit on our country and its people,” he also said.

Momodou Suwareh, councillor for Transport at the Kanifing Municipal Council, said he was optimistic that the OIC Summit would be beneficial to The Gambia by boosting its economy as well as creating job opportunities for young people.
Suwareh added that he also expects the summit to change the face of the country and provide a lot of development and strengthen diplomatic ties with other member states.

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