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  • Writer's pictureJane Smith

Doctor Adama Bah

Updated: Aug 23, 2021

This humble man!

'Leeds Beckett University has awarded an Honorary Doctorate of the University to Adama Bah, who has dedicated much of his life to responsible tourism, both in his home country of Gambia and internationally' Read the article here

Adama has made a difference all over the Gambia but also in Janjanbureh.

Having decided in Feb 2009 with the late Hon. Foday Manka to form this charity, I was carrying out research and through some bizarre twist of fate discovered that Haygrove, just a few miles away from me had links with The Gambia

'We set up Gambia-is-Good in Gambia; a country then, with 92% of its population in subsistence agriculture. ‘GIG’ was a not-for-profit fairtrade social business, connecting mainly female growers to local hotels, restaurants and emerging supermarkets, with lorries and vans collecting a large range of produce. Andrew Hunt wins a World Business & Development Award in 2008 from Kofi Annan. Now sadly stopped as the need became replaced locally by competition. They call this development success.'


I made this discovery on a

Monday: emailed to ask if I could ask advice about experiences of working with The Gambia.

Tuesday: reply stating email has been forwarded to Angus Davison, “our founder and now ‘Eccentric Chairman’”

Wednesday: Angus rang me inviting me to meet someone who was coming over to explain Gambia is Good to the workers. Would I like to to join them?

That ‘someone’ was Adama Bah

Friday: I met Adama and had a tour of the fruit growing farm and all the research they were developing to help growers in The Gambia and then had perhaps 30 minutes with Adama before he had to catch a train. I presented him with my list of ideas which included training young people as tour guides, developing special festivals, creating special goods for tourists using local excellence etc.

He read it with great interest and remarked that it was all wonderful ideas but that I would meet untold problems along the way but he would be there to help. He was accurate in his predictions but he has been true to his word.

That was the beginning of a long connection and Adama has worked constantly with us in both major and minor ways over the years.

  • He was involved in Gambia is Good which I visited in The Gambia

  • He ran Asset (now ASSERT) and indeed we used their services to control the distribution of our money for quite some time

  • He was very active in putting together the first Local Tour Guide training and putting himself out a great deal in providing the training over a week in Janjanbureh

  • He was active in helping us acquire land for a Banana Plantation

  • He has visited my home on a couple of occasions loving walking on the hills

He has worked with our Director, Omar Jammeh, including him in many aspects, more recently, the introduction of the now annual Kankurang Festival and on the development of Community Based Tourism

The list is too long to continue but I think it is fair to say that without the recently honoured Dr Adama Bah, Janjanbureh would not be developing as it is.

We are profoundly grateful for you constant support and humility in that support.

Abaraka Bakeh Doctor Adama Bah

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