The Gambia and the World Bank have signed a $68m grant to revive the ocean-facing West African country’s tourism sector.
The deal was announced by representatives of both parties announced on Tuesday at a signing ceremony in The Gambia’s capital Banjul.
The grant is meant to promote diversification and climate resilience of tourism and help protect the Atlantic coastline of The Gambia, a country of about 2.1 million inhabitants surrounded by Senegal, from the effects of climate change.
Like many other sectors across Africa, tourism has been hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic and economic fallouts of the war in Ukraine, World Bank managing director of operations, Axel Van Trotsenburg, said.
Tourism accounts for roughly 20 percent of The Gambia’s gross domestic product (GDP) and is the largest foreign exchange earner, according to the government.
The pandemic caused The Gambia’s economic growth to contract by 0.2 percent in 2020, according to the World Bank.
The economy has since started to recover, reaching 5.6 percent growth in 2021, largely driven by the return of beach resort-goers and remittances.