Gambia House Model (Diaspora Diplomacy)
Gambia House model is an innovation to facilitate Gambian diaspora diplomacy. The Government of The Gambia does not have the resources to operate embassies or consulates in all the countries and districts across the world where Gambians reside. On the one hand, Gambia has one of the highest percentages of its graduates and skilled professionals living abroad. On the other hand, Gambia has one of the highest percentages of irregular migrants in Europe. The Gambia House Model is an opportunity for a new form of diplomacy, whereby suitably qualified Gambians in the diaspora are appointed as Honorary Consuls or Consul Generals, as part of a structured Gambia House organisation.
In the relevant country or district within a country, a local Gambia House legal entity is registered as a Charity, Not-For-Profit or Non-Governmental Organisation. The mission or goal of Gambia House would be to “create an effective Consulate-General or Honorary Consulate, to deepen diplomatic, economic, institutional and cultural ties, and facilitate exchange, assistance and cooperation between [the relevant country or district] and The Gambia”.
The Gambia House legal entity is to be managed by a Board of Trustees, comprising diaspora Gambians and local/national ‘Friends of Gambia’ with the required expertise, experience and commitment to the mission and values of Gambia House. The entity will raise its own funds to pay for the range of services delivered, which may include:
- Promotion of trade, business and investment to Gambia
- Facilitation of education, social and cultural exchange programmes
- Facilitation of bi-lateral relations for institution building and development support
- Provision of advisory and welfare services to Gambian residents
- Support on passport renewal, visa issuance and other consular and diplomatic services.
The Gambia House model is being piloted with Gambia House (Norway).