By Ndey Sowe
A Senegalese Association that is currently on a visit in the Gambia, said they will strengthen cultural ties and also promote youth employment through greenhouse farming and poultry. As a unique farm practice to grow crops within sheltered structures covered by transparent or partially transparent material, Greenhouse farming provide favorable growing conditions and to protect crops from hash weather and pests.
Named the Association of Notables of the ‘Lebu’, the group on Tuesday 22nd December 2020 paid a courtesy call on the Gambia Government authorities through the National Center for Arts and Culture (NCAC) where they disclosed their mission.
The Association’s strengthening of cultural ties and promotion of youth employment within Sene-Gambia discussed a project titled: “Production of Solar Energy for Sustainable Agriculture”.
Hassoum Ceesay, Director General of the NCAC said the ‘lebu’ owned Senegal because the Senegalese Government still pays them tax.
“Lebu is an ethic group in Senegal and are mainly found in the Dakar Region. They are well known for their role as fishermen and have a large presence in the diaspora,” he said.
Commenting on the history of the Lebu, Ceesay said they also have a king and often refer to the Lebu Republic because they have maintained a pre-colonial system of administration up to date.
Ceesay highlighted two reasons for the Association’s visit. That one was to pay a courtesy call on the Minister of Tourism and Culture and develop cultural ties between The Gambia and Senegal, and the other is a project proposal brought by the Association for the use of solar energy to engage in green agriculture and poultry farming.
“The project is to install a solar farm where solar energy can be harnessed to power crop production and poultry farming by creating jobs for the youth to improve their living standards,” he said.
He said the association has started talking with Gambian NGOs who have shown interest in their project. That among them includes Foni Kansala Trust and Mambureh Foundation.
Ndeydji Rew Abdoulaye Sylla, Counsel of Notables ‘Lebu’ of Cape Verde, said Senegal, the Gambia and other sister countries should yoke together and collaborate for development.
“We work in culture and tradition because our great grandfathers share the same cultures and traditions. That is why we thought it wise to work in every development aspect between the two states,” he said.
Sylla added that the project aims to expand electricity and agriculture in the Gambia, as well as create youth employment; that the electricity initiative will be available at a cheaper rate.
“The project intends to provide the production of natural products to ensure its sale nationally and internally. We want to do this so the great change anticipated can happen between Senegal and Gambia and by extension, to Guinea Bissau and Mali among other countries in Africa,” Ceesay concludes.