Kombo Beach Hotel, formerly Novotel, Monday presented a cheque for D25, 000 and a New Year Cake to the Jammeh Foundation for Peace (JFP), in recognition of its invaluable services to the nation.
The vice president and minister of Women's Affairs, Aja Dr Isatou Njie-Saidy, who is also the chairman of the Board of Directors of JFP, received the cheque at apresentation ceremony held at her office in State House. JFP since inception has been supporting meaningful development initiatives especially in the areas of youth development, women empowerment, and in the agriculture and health sectors.
Presenting the cheque, Salma Abourizk Alaeldin, the financial controller of Kombo Beach Hotel, wished the Gambian leader, his family, and the people of The Gambia a very happy New Year, and prayed for the country's peace, progress and prosperity under his guidance.
She harped on the significant role women are playing in the tourism sector, noting that there are now women hotel managers in the country.She further noted that the three past occupants of the office of minister of Tourism have been women.
She continued: "Tourism is now a major contributor to the economic growth of the country and I can point out the huge strides in the infrastructural development The Gambia has made since July 1994 to boost tourism in the country."
Alaeldin hailed the numerous development projects championed by President Jammeh, citing the Banjul International Airport, first class road infrastructure, streetlights and the rural electrification among a host of others. She disclosed that Kombo Beach Hotel was taken over by Eon Ltd in 2002 and has since been contributing to national development and poverty alleviation through various means such as sponsoring a mobile dental service, assistance to vegetal seeds to the Daranka community in Lamin, as well as Busumbala Women's Garden among a host of others.
"Kombo Beach Hotel has won the Travellife Award for Sustainable Tourism three times consecutively and is the only hotel in West Africa to have done so," she added. While reaffirming their commitment to participating in any future endeavours undertaken by the JFP, Alaeldin also expressed their unwavering determination to contribute in the socio-economic development of the country through the JFP.
For his part, Bai Matarr Drammeh, the vice chairperson of the JFP Fund Raising Committee, explained that the Foundation was founded by President Jammeh. He added that the First Lady, Madam Zineb Yahya Jammeh, is the president of the Foundation. Drammeh described JFP as a serious organisation, stressing that their main goal is service before self.
His words: "We do all the things for the people and not for ourselves. So everything you give here is very valuable and important to us and it will help the sick people and students who are going to school, those in the health and agricultural sector. So every donation that we receive here goes to other people for their wellbeing and our satisfaction having done something for somebody else." Drammeh also thanked Kombo Beach Hotel for the gesture and urged others to emulate them.
Receiving the cheque, VP Njie-Saidy described Kombo Beach Hotel as a household name in the country, recalling that government was dependent on the said hotel for a long time before the advent of Kairaba Beach Hotel and other hotels in the country.She urged them to keep up the good work, and assured that the whole country is appreciative of the donation. She thanked the hotel for what she described as a laudable gift, and further assured that that government under the leadership of President Jammeh will always create the enabling policy environment for businesses to operate in this country.
The vice president also hailed the country's peace and stability under the watchful eyes of President Jammeh, saying "no matter what resources we have in this country, I think the peace and stability is the gem that everybody wants to have and we are able to have it under the leadership of President Jammeh". She finally thanked the general manager and the staff for the award.