INTERNATIONAL ROOTS FESTIVAL The Ministry of Tourism & Culture invites all people of African descent and all persons committed to the well being of Africans and the development of Africa, to come home to The Gambia and participate in The 11th International Roots Festival which is both a historical, cultural and educational event. For over 400 years our people have been separated by the results of the African Holocaust (Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade) and the legacy of colonisation has kept us at odds with our true history, identity, cultural traditions while preventing unity and growth amongst African People and the African Continent.
Roots festival commemorates the enforced enslavement and transportation of millions of Africans to the Americas and the Caribbean Islands. Africans and friends of Africa from the Diaspora are presented with a unique opportunity to attend and participate in The International Roots Festival. Come home and experience the African Continent. Confront a physical past and glimpse the horizon of a brighter future. Come home, rediscover and reaffirm your African heritage, be at one with your people and your ancestral family. Visit places of Historical, Cultural and Educational interest such as Juffureh (The Late Alex Haleys Ancestral home), Fort James Island, Georgetown (now Janjanbureh). Establish cultural ties. Attend International Musical Concerts, Cultural Jamborees, Visit a traditional African Batik Factory, Craft Markets, experience traditional African cuisine, Hairstyles, Fashions and Jewellery; Witness Traditional events.
Introduction: To The Roots Secretariat. The Roots Secretariat was founded and established to facilitate, integrate and to culturally enrich Gambian nationals and Pan African people who travel from the Diaspora, to The Gambia exclusively, to reaffirm and reconnect with their Roots respectively. The Roots Secretariat caters for Africans in the Diaspora and friends of Africa, delivering information and useful insights on the festival in particular, and the Gambia at large. "The Roots" programmes are designed to further enlighten people culturally. The historical significance The Gambia bears, and the rich ethnical cultures which prevail in The Gambia will be introduced to "pilgrims" as they integrate with various tribal groups in villages throughout several regions of The Gambia. Embracing Gambian culture, customs and values, history and traditions strengthens and reaffirms ones African Cultural Heritage. The Roots Secretariats National coordinating Committee shall design a selection of historical and Cultural awareness events, programmes, merchandise and literature, which are rewardingly educational and entertaining for both Pan Africans and Gambians.
Roots Experiences, The International Roots Festival, Roots Concerts, Root Merchandise and other Pan African Edutainment programmes are to be implemented by the secretariat throughout the year. The President of The Gambia-Alh. Dr Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh under the auspices of the department of State for Tourism and Culture is inviting all African descendants living in the Diaspora to come Home to The Gambia and attend The International Roots Festival.
The Roots Homecoming Festival commemorates the enforced enslavement and transportation of millions of Africans to the Americas, The Caribbean Islands and Britain. Let your resolution be;
"I AM COMING HOME TO AFRICA NEXT YEAR."
Come Home and experience the African Continent. Confront the physical past and glimpse the horizon of a brighter future. Come Home and rediscover your roots, re-affirm your African Heritage and at one with your people. Visit places of Historical, Cultural and Educational interest such as Juffureh (Alex Haleys Ancestral home) and Fort James Island. Participate in Roots Redemption day.
PRESS STATEMENT 2 April 2014
The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare wishes to inform the general public it is closely monitoring the Ebola situation in Guinea Conakry and neighboring countries. Because Ebola is a very fatal disease and spreads very fast within the human population, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in collaboration with its partners and stakeholders has taken a number of preparatory measures to prevent the disease from spreading into the Gambia. These include:
• An official press release issued by the Ministry to inform the general public about the situation in Guinea, which was followed by a series of pubic sensitization in the media;
• Briefing of stakeholders on the situation in Guinea and on the national response plan;
• Reactivation of existing emergency preparedness and management structures and network
• Country-wide rapid assessment of supplies and resources available on the ground and at health facilities in preparation for the epidemic
• Reactivation of cross border consultations and deployment of public health officers at strategic border areas with the Republic of Senegal and at the national airport to provide a 24-hour service of sensitization and screening of incoming travelers
• Strengthening the disease surveillancesystem to track both active and suspected case of Ebola
The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare also wishes to inform the general public that to date, no confirmed case of Ebola has been reported in the Gambia. Due to the active surveillance system the Ministry has put in place, two people who travelled from one of the affected areas in Guinea (Macenta) have been traced by the surveillance network. Although their clinical signs are not specific for Ebola, they are being treated in an isolation ward and all standard infection control measures are being observed. The MOHSW does not want to take any chances so their samples have been taken for investigation inthe regional reference laboratory in Dakar to rule out Ebola infection. Contact tracing and follow up are on-going. The public will be notified on the outcome of this investigation as soon as information is made available.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health is taking the necessary preventive measures to protect thehealth of the general public and wishes to reassure that there is no need for panic and people should go about their normal business but to remain vigilant and report any suspected cases to the nearest health facility. The signs and symptoms of Ebola are similar to some other conditions and they may include vomitting, diarrhoea, sore throat, joint and muscle aches, stomach pain, headache, red eyes, and bleeding from body openings may be seen in some patients. People can be exposed to Ebola virus from direct physical contact with body fluids like blood, saliva, stool, urine, etc of an infected person and soiled linen used by a patient. To prevent Ebola, people should therefore avoid direct contact with body fluids of a person suffering from Ebola or has died of the disease. Strict personal hygiene through hand-washing should be adhered toat all times.