What does the TDA mean in Gambia?
In short it is the area of land along from the coastline
which has a width of about 800 metres. It is set aside
by the Gambia Government for present and future tourist
Generally residential land in this area cannot be purchased
by private individuals to build houses. Any proposed
commercial developments such as hotels and bars usually
have to pass through the Gambia Tourism Authority.
The current use of land is specifically based on the
planned coastal zone which is the Tourism Development
Area. In 1970, the TDA was legally designated under
Ministry of Local Government and Kombo North / South
District Authority Act as a mile zone along the Atlantic
coast reaching from Kotu river down Tanji River initially
and subsequently extending it up to the Gambia River
on the Atlantic side.
Thus, the TDA covers almost the entire Southern coast
of the Gambia.
This legal designation of TDA has facilitated the Tourism
Liaison Board (TLB) now the Tourism Area Development
Board all developments so far and it is emphasized that
designation TDA as a planning Area in future should
enable the authorities not only to control land use
but also to protect the wildlife and nature of the TDA.
The Bafuloto Plan of 1973 is still the Basic of all
Physical Planning within the TDA. The plan aim to promote
the development of Atlantic coast of the Gambia for
the dual purpose of tourism and urban development. The
area along the coastline with an average depth of 800
meters is reserved for resort and related development
whilst the area in land from the coast and separated
from it by a Highway (Kombo Coastal Road and the Bertil
Harding Highway) is planned for urban improvement and
The main idea behind the general plan for TDA is to
distinguish two different types of tourists zones along
the coast. The northern zones, where the main tourist
development shall take place within clearly defined
areas such as Kotu and Bijilo and later the Brufut area,
and the southern zone, where there would be only small
"Tourist sport" for excursions and short time
No further Physical development of tourist area is envisaged
in the Southern zone. Based on the latest forecasts
as well as the actual growth of tourist and also on
the assumption that tourism will grow faster in the
future, a study made by GTZ short team expert on the
TDA in 1989 has concluded that the Northern Zone alone
can adequately meet the demands for hotel beds in the
future. This affords the opportunity to preserve the
Southern Zone as a nature park of unique beauty untouched
by the adverse affects of tourists developments. The
proposed nature park South Coast will provide a far
greater attraction for the tourism in The Gambia than
a multitude of half furnisher hotel-sites dotted along
the whole coaster strip.
Tourism Development with specific reference to the Tourism
Development Area by Mr Alkali E. CONTEH:
When tourism started in the Gambia in 1965, only 300
tourists hailing from Scandinavia spent their holiday
on our beaches. The following year, the number rose
to 528. The industry which was introduced by foreign
business interest, was encouraged by the following factors:
1) a stable democratic government;
2) a policy design to attract foreign capital through
tax incentives and duty waivers on imports;
3) high rates of return on investments;
4) a favourable climate and beautiful beaches;
The industry became so successful that by 1970, existing
facilities became overstretched, creating the need for
more basic infrastructure. Consequently in 1972 the
area stretching from Cape Point to Kololi (and later
extended to Brufut / Kartong as well as Barra Point)
was designated a Tourism Development Area.
This TDA is formed by coastal stripped of some 750 to
800 m in width.
In 1972 the above area was designated a TDA a Tourism
Liaison Board was set up comprising of:
Ministry for Local Government and
Physical Planning Officer; Land Officer;
The TLB was charged with the responsibility of advising
the Minister of State responsible for tourism on such
matters as tourism legislation, tourism security and
land use policy in tourism.
In respect of the latter, the Board was charged with
the task of preparing draft for tourism related projects.
Therefore between 1975 and 1981, this Board among others
accomplished the following:
and implementation of the planning and building regulations
the development access roads;
the provision of water and electricity;
the identification and construction of beach
In November 1987, Cabinet agreed to a proposal to change
the name of the Tourism Liaison Board to the present
Tourism Area Development Board (TADB) with a reconstituted
membership consisting of the following:
||Ministry of Information & Tourism
||Permanent Secretary, Ministry for
Local Government & Lands (Deputy Chairman);
||Chief Executive Investment Board;
||Director of Tourism;
||President, Gambia Chamber of Commerce
||Permanent Secretary, Minister of
Trade Industry & Employment;
||Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry
for Local Government & Lands;
||Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry
of Information & Tourism (as Secretary).
The terms of reference of this Board are: 1. To advise
the Minister of Information & Tourism on the management
and development for TDA generally; 2. To consider detailed
plans for development of areas designated as TDA; 3.
To receive, consider and advise the Minister of Information
& Tourism on applications from companies and individuals
wishing to be allocated space within the TDA.
The Board is assisted by a Technical Committee in the
processing of applications for land within the TDA.
This Committee (which has since been disbanded to reduce
bureaucratic red-tape and delay in the processing of
applications for land) comprised of the following:
Director of Physical Planning & Housing;
Director of Tourism;
Director of Lands
Director of forestry;
Director - GUC;
Chief Executive NIB.
With regards to the consideration and allocation of
land within the TDA, the Board has set the following
requirements and procedures:
1. all applications must provide a business registration
2. for groups of persons and companies, the must provide
an article of association and a memorandum of incorporation;
3. the presentation of a feasibility study document;
4. a minimum deposit in local bank of 10% of the total
financial cost of the proposed project.
Upon the fulfilment of these requirements, the Board
processes the application and recommends it for approval.
by Ministry of Tourism. With this assent to the Boards
recommendation, this Minister sends the application
to the Minister for Local Government & Lands for
his concurrence. Thereafter the Director of Lands &
Surveys is instructed to convey approval to the applicant
with conditions amongst which is a conservative clause
stipulating the maximum heights of structures and the
conservation of existing floral life as much as possible.
Leasing processes could start immediately after allocation
of land is made but an understanding has been reached
between the two Ministries (i.e. Ministry of Information
& Tourism and Ministry for Local Government &
Lands) that lease should not be granted until after
completion of a significant level of development in
respect of civil works by the applicant. This condition
together with the 10% cash deposit requirement is deter
land speculators from acquiring land within the TDA
and converting it as collaterals in their commercial
business transactions or freezing the desired speed
of development in the TDA.