Hamat Bah: Gambia cannot ‘give citizenship like other African countries’ 


By: Fatou Dahaba

The Minister of Tourism and Culture, Hamat NK. Bah told the Miami delegation that the Gambia cannot give citizenship to anyone like other African countries, noting that in The Gambia, acquisition of citizenship has to go through a legal process.

Speaking at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Center, on the Miami-Dade County presentation and business round-table meeting and networking, the Minister said they do not support automatic citizenship for anybody in the country, but one can be an investor to live freely, happily, and enjoy their investment.

“As a small country, we cannot afford to give citizenship as other African countries do. Our population is increasing, and we don’t have land like other countries; therefore, we must preserve this country,” Bah remarked.

He added that the Gambia cannot be compared to other African countries like Ghana, which have an automatic citizenship package whereby once you return from the diaspora, you are given automatic citizenship. He said this is not applicable in the Gambia due to the size of the country.

The Culture Minister disclosed that the smiling coast of Africa is the fifth most peaceful country in Africa, which means it is safe to visit and do business while acknowledging the educated young middle class coming up who are determined to move the country forward.

He said the people of Miami and the Gambia have so much in common and are the same people and climate.

Bah further encourages the people of Miami to explore the possibility of investing in the Gambia, explaining that their investment can significantly change the country’s economic growth.

Madeleine Bastien, from Miami-Dade County District 2, expressed delight to the government of the Gambia for the warm welcome.

She said it was her wish to visit the motherland, and she felt that soon after arriving in the Gambia.

The Gambia Tourism Board presented vital attractions and places one can visit in the Gambia, while GIEPA did a similar one on the areas of investment in the country.

The Mayor of North Miami and Miami-Dade County officials embarked on an official mission to the Gambia from 1st to 2nd August 2023.

Miami-Dade County officials and representatives from aviation, the port of Miami, along with the mayor of North Miami and his representatives, highlighted the county’s attributes and uniqueness as a global gateway, tourism, and logistical hub.

During their visit, they engaged a cross-section of stakeholders in the Gambian government (Airport, ports, and other ministries), the US embassy, representatives from the economic development agencies, NGOs, GCCI, GWCC, and public and private sector in the Gambia.

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