A renowned Gambian economist, Dr Tijan Sallah, has reached at an advanced stage with plans to build a museum and modern library in Gambia which seeks to showcase Africa’s rich literary and artistic culture.
Dr Sallah, who has been in United States for close to 40 years, is a brother of Gambia’s elder statesman and politician Halifa Sallah.
Dr Sallah, a World Bank economist for East and Central Africa until his retirement recently, said the project will serve as an attraction for tourism and academics who wish to learn about Gambia and African culture, literature and governance system.
“My idea is to establish a world class museum and library is to tell the African story… This will cover African royalty and governance and it relevance to contemporary Africa… Another aspect of the museum will be about slavery,” Dr Sallah told journalists on Thursday.
“The third area of the museum is to bring in books that are written by Africans and non-Africans on African history… This is so that young Africans can learn about the intellectual contributions of Africans.”
An author of ten books who edited several others, Dr Sallah said he has already created a board for the project who comprises several prominent people including Nigeria’s Prof. Wole Soyinka, Prof Donald Wright, Prof Pierre Gomez, Dr Ebrima Ceesay and few others.
Dr Sallah said the museum which will have a library component will also display and showcase paintings of various Gambian artist.
Dr Sallah said he has already met with the higher education minister, tourism and lands and regional government ministers and their response have been good.
“The whole idea is to tell our own stories… If you don’t tell you own stories, others will and you may not like what you hear or see…,” said Dr Sallah.
“People can come and read the work of great African thinkers and get inspired.”