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Monday, March 28, 2011

West Africa: Human rights and the process of regional integration

Senegal-based National Organisation for Human Rights (ONDH) on March 23 engaged stakeholders in Banjul on a one-day workshop on “Human Rights approach in the process of regional integration in West Africa”.
The workshop, held at the Baobab Holiday Resort, The Gambia is a preparatory programme to the build up to a two-day discussion group in April 2011 on regional integration in West Africa and the human rights process involved.

ECOWAS deeply concerned about the deadlock on EPA negotiations

Calls Ivorian crisis a ‘Major threat’ to peace and security and  Renews Nigeria’s mandate as Chair

Goodluck will continue as chairman of ECOWAS if he wins April Polls
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has expressed deep concern about the deadlock in the EPA negotiations due to persistent divergences between the European Union and West African parties.
These concerns were contained in a Final Communique reached by the sub-regional economic bloc at the 39th Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS held in Abuja, Nigeria from March 23-24, 2011.
As per the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), the Heads of State and Government affirm their common position as follows: preserve the independent resources of regional organizations by excluding ECOWAS Community Levy and the UEMOA Community Solidarity Levy from the scope of the tariff liberalization; Ensure a sustainable and gradual liberalization that safeguards the region’s tax revenue, its development capacity and avoid a reversal of the recent regional integration achievements, therefore, West Africa is ready to offer to the EU a maximum of 70 percent market opening over a period of 20 – 25 years; and ensure additional financial resources from the EU for the financing of the EPA Development Programme (EPADP).

President Jammeh urges Gambians to set aside differences

......And step up national development
President Jammeh (pix by The Point)
The Gambian leader, Yahya Jammeh has called on Gambians to put their differences aside and joined him in the interest of national development, saying sentiments and personal conflicts of interest at all levels of society only contribute division thereby preventing or slowing down success.
“I exhort you to set aside all differences and, as compatriots, come together in the interest of all. Let us be bound together by our national interests, vision and goals, by  the resolve to succeed in reaching  the common destiny  that envisions an economic super power  that we will bequeath to our children and grandchildren yet unborn.
Attaining this is feasible, and, together, we can make our dream of making The Gambia the best and most prosperous nation in the 21st century and beyond, a superpower of peace and economic prosperity a reality,” he outlined.

Red Cross steps up work to restore family links

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Liberia National Red Cross Society have boosted their activities to register and assist unaccompanied and separated children arriving in Liberia after fleeing Côte d’Ivoire.
“The second wave of refugees that has resulted from the upsurge in fighting in western Côte d’Ivoire since 24 February has been more urgent and less well organized than previous arrivals. More families have become separated in the process,” the ICRC said on March 24, 2011.

Armitage principal decline to comment on dismissal

Reports reaching The Voice newspaper has it that the principal of Armitage Senior Secondary School, Mr. David Haffner has been dismissed on March 24, 2011.
When contacted to shed light on the reason for his removal, he told our news editor to check with the Armitage Board of Governors or the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education.
The reason behind his removal is not clear, however, the Chairman of the Board of Governors at Armitage, Kaunding Tambedou told the Daily Observer that he “received directives from the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education to terminate Haffner’s services with immediate effect”.
Mr. Haffner has served in various capacities at Armitage, rising through the ranks from Junior and senior teacher, Vice Principal and to Principal respectively. He was one of the longest servants of the school, having been there for more than 30 years.

Nationwide polio campaign kicks offs


Health officials urge parents to make available children for vaccination 
The 2011 national immunisation campaign against polio has been launched by the Minister of Health and Social Welfare at the Kanifing Municipality Council (KMC) on March 25.
The campaign, ending on March 28, 2011 targets children from five years of age and below. A second round is already slated from April 22-25, 2011.
Speaking at the launch, the Minister of Health and Social Welfare Fatim Badjie said the National Immunisation Days (NIDs) is one of the strategies of polio eradication initiative (PEI), which is an international initiative declared by the World Health Assembly in May 1988.

GFA suspends Interior Coach Manneh


(The Point) - The organising committee of the Gambia Football Association (GFA) has suspended Interior head coach Ebrima Manneh for the rest of the first round of the Gambia Football Association division one league season.
The suspension of Coach Manneh is as a result of his accusations levied on the GFA president Seedy Kinteh for bribing referees during his side’s 1-1 with Bakau United at the West Mini-stadium last Saturday.
Manneh is also facing a fine of D5, 000. The GFA has also suspended Interior player Baboucarr Sarr for four games after abusing the centre referee.

Senior Sport Journalist charged to court


Bakary B. Baldeh, a senior sports journalist and producer for West Coast Radio (WCR) in Banjul has been charged to court in a civil suit brought against him by the President of The Gambia Golf Association, Ebrima Jawara.
Baldeh faces two counts of Conspiracy to Commit Felony and Incite Violence, he has since denied any wrong doing, and he is being tried at the Kanifing Magistrate Court, the Daily Observer reported.
Jawara, a son of the former Gambian president filed the suit over a sports show he suggested made malicious comments about his personality in which Baldeh hosted “two aggrieved golf caddies who used the show to criticise the Gambia golf chief for what the caddies described as an unfair treatment towards them during the Mariam Jammeh Golf tournament hosted at the Fajara Golf Club”.

Conflict robbing Million of African Children of future

UNESCO-NATCOM boost Gambia National Library 
Today, conflict is robbing 28 million children of a future. These children are deprived of proper houses, adequate sanitation and most importantly education, the Vice Chairperson National Commission for UNESCO Dr. Fatoumatta Sisay-Joof has said.
Dr. Sisay-Joof was speaking at the launch of the “Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2011” at the Laico Atlantic Hotel in Banjul on March 24. The event was organised by the National Commission for UNESCO-NATCOM.

Gambia Identifies Human and Institutional Capacity


Joins African Capacity Building Foundation
The Finance Minister Mam Burry Njie has told a team from African Capacity Building Foundation that the Government of the Gambia identified human and institutional capacity as key factors in the process of formulating and managing effective development policies for sustained growth and poverty eradication.
He said the Gambia has been partnering with the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) for several years and has benefited from the technical and financial assistance of the foundation on two projects: The Gambia Public/Private Sector-Civil Society Interface Capacity Building Project and a project supporting the Association of Non-Governmental Organizations of The Gambia.

President Jammeh launches $24 million World Bank projects


The President of The Gambia, HE Yahya Jammeh on Tuesday presided over the officially launching of the Gambia Growth and Competitiveness Project (GGCP) and the West African Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAP) in Banjul.
The five-year projects are financed by the World Bank Group in the Agricultural sector to the tune of $12 million each. It is aimed at improving investment; accelerate growth and employment and regional agricultural cooperation in West Africa.

Government stress the need to find a durable solution to address the plight of IDPs


The Minister of Interior, NGOs Affairs and for Refugees in The Gambia, Hon. Ousman Sonko has admitted that the issue of Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs) has taken centre stage, and the need to find a durable solution is “government’s primary” responsibility.
Speaking at a one-day sensitisation workshop for Lawmakers and Relevant Stakeholders on the African Union (AU) Convention for the Protection and Assistance of IDPs, held in Banjul, Sonko said the adoption of this regional instrument (Kampala Convention) has been widely welcome as a positive development for the protection of IDPs in Africa.

IAG lectures on evolution of medical insurance…

As part of a week long event the Insurance Association of The Gambia (IAG) organises a day-long lecture on the Evolution of Medical Insurance in The Gambia, Prospects and Constraints on Wednesday March 23, 2011 at the Laico Atlantic Hotel in Banjul.
The lecture, which is the second of its kind, was aimed at holding a colloquium on a specific subject that impacts on the insurance industry and to provide a common platform for insurance operators and other stakeholders to discuss issues of common concern.

ECOWAS Commission on recent violent incidents in Benin


Transformation of the AU Commission into an authority
 The ECOWAS Commission wishes to reiterate its satisfaction with the efforts made recently by the Benin Authorities, institutions in charge of the organization of elections and all other stakeholders in the country’s presidential election, in ensuring a smooth and exemplary voting in a peaceful, fair and transparent electoral contest.

1996 allege coup trial delayed


The trial of Abdoulie Sonko, who is facing charges of treason before Justice Emmanuel Amadi of the High Court in Banjul could not proceed on March 21, 2011 because the prosecutor handling the case has been transferred to Brikama.
When the case was called on Monday, the state prosecutor’s absence was announced and that he has been transferred to the Brikama Magistrate Court’s section of the High Court, prompting the judge to adjourn the case till March 31, 2011.

Acquit and Discharge Tamba and Fofana

Tamba & Fofana
Defence Counsels Sheriff Tambedou and Lamin K. Mboge have exhorted the High Court to acquit and discharge Langtombong Tamba and Sarjo Fofana on all four counts of treason.
The erstwhile Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Tamba and Navy Chief Rear Admiral Fofana are standing trial on charges of treason before Justice Joseph E. Ikpala at the Special Criminal Division of the High Court in the Gambian capital, Banjul.
As the trial is winding down, lawyers Sheriff Tambedou and Lamin K. Mboge in their addresses to the Court called for the acquittal and discharge of their clients on Monday 21st March, 2011.

This Same Buutuo…22 Years Later


DK Sengbeh
On Christmas Eve 1989 the nonviolent and unruffled people of a little border town abruptly woke up to the sounds of heavy gunfire and grenade explosions. Confused, they took to their heels, running helter-scatter like headless serpents, in search of refuge.
Later, they realized that a son of the soil had staged a “revolution” of “freedom“ and regime-change (to wipe out endemic corruption, nepotism, tribalism and tyrannical rule among other undemocratic principles) that would last more than 14 years and change their country forever.
Many of those who left that border town – Buutuo – that momentous hour of darkness never returned. Only few did. Some died. Others are still in exile, but the town itself remained – though with wounding changes – with a unique history.
The Charles Ghankay Taylor-led National Patriotic Front rebel incursion (under the banner of ‘Freedom Fighters’) is the most atrocious and bloodiest civil strive Liberia has ever witnessed in its 163 years history of independence. It claimed more than an estimated 250,000 lives, sent half of million Liberians into displaced camps around the country and forced at least a quarter million others into exile.

3076th Foreign Affairs Council meeting: Conclusions on Somalia

The Council adopted the following conclusions:
“1. The EU expresses its continued deep concern about the political, security, development and humanitarian situation in Somalia, including the resulting increase in the number of displaced people. Instability in Somalia is posing a growing challenge not only to the security of people in Somalia, but also to the region and the rest of the world, through terrorism, piracy and the proliferation of weapons.
2. The EU confirms its continued support for the Djibouti peace process, which remains the framework for peace building and stability in Somalia. It is imperative that the Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs) demonstrate unity, common purpose and determination to advance in this incremental and all-inclusive process.

Halifa Sallah: History is confirming my worst fears

Halifa Sallah has said that history is confirming his worst fears and he hope Gaddafi will bow down to reason, common sense and justice by accepting that the time has come for his departure and do so without presiding over more destruction and deaths.
The Secretary General of the People for Democratic Independent and Socialism (PDOIS) said the sovereignty of states resides in the people. This is the fundamental lesson of political science that should be acknowledged by all peoples and leaders.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Committee to Protect Journalists asked President Jammeh to clarify comments


"I will not sacrifice the peace and security of the country at the alter of Press Freedom" - President Jammeh (pix by statehouse.gm)
March 21, 2011
H.E. Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh
President of the Republic of The Gambia
State House
Banjul, The Gambia
Via facsimile +220 4227 034


Dear President Jammeh:
We request clarification of your March 16 comments suggesting "Chief" Ebrima Manneh, a reporter for the Daily Observer, may have died. Manneh disappeared after witnesses saw him being arrested by state security agents in the offices of the Daily Observer on July 7, 2007. The government has previously denied any knowledge of Manneh's fate.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

SENEGAL UNITED BY ANGER

Anti-government demonstrators in Dakar, Senegal (pix Xfinity News)
Momodou Ba, Asse Sylla and thousands of others met at Dakar’s Independence Square where they have gathered for one of the biggest anti-government protests in Senegal on Saturday March 19, 2011.
Holding placards with messages like ‘Enough is enough: Senegalese are fed up with lies’. Ba and Sylla stand shoulder-to-shoulder among the crowd. It is the first time they have ever met but it doesn’t take long before they become true friends. The two men are united by one thing: unemployment.
26-year-old Ba has graduated from college in 2007. His initial plan was to find a job, save some money and start his own business.

Government-Media meeting: Not a bad start

Madi Ceesay, Publisher & Proprietor The Daily News
The Publisher and Proprietor of The Daily News, Madi MK Ceesay has said the recent meeting between the Government of The Gambia and the Independent Press is not a bad start.
The meeting, held of March 16 is aimed at strengthening government-media relations. In an interview with The Voice, Mr. Ceesay said: “it’s not a bad start as there was a long standing of difference between the two, however my take on the meeting is that, government is still on the defensive.”
“The media have put their concern very clearly on the table; it’s only wise of the government to look into those concerns raised. If there is to be any head way for the relationship which is gone bad on a yearly basis then the government of the day has to accept the realities. That is media freedom is suffering a lot,” he said on Saturday.

Gambian economy thriving despite lingering effects of economic crisis

“Preliminary data indicate that the Gambian economy continued to perform well in 2010, despite lingering effects of the global economic crisis on tourism receipts,” a statement from the International Monetary Fund has said on March 17, 2011.
This achievement, according to the IMF is led by another strong expansion in agriculture; real gross domestic product (GDP) growth is estimated to have grown by about 5½ percent. However, inflation edged up in 2010, mainly because of rising international food and fuel prices, but the economic outlook for 2011 is generally positive, especially if hints of improvements in the tourism sector develop further.

Gambia Government urged to abide by the Women Act


Amie Sillah, Gender Activitist
Gender activist and Coordinator Women for Democracy and Development (WODD) Amie Sillah, has called on  The Gambia Government to abide by the Women Act 2010 by protecting the social, economic, political and cultural rights of  Gambian women.
Mrs. Sillah was speaking at a two-day Capacity Building organised by WODD and funded by the US Embassy in Banjul through its Democracy and Human Rights Fund, held at the Girls Guides Headquarters, MDI Road Kanifing on March 18, 2011.

President Jammeh sacks high profile cabinet ministers

Hon Kolly
Hon Kah
Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has fired two high profile cabinet members in the persons of Hon. Abdou Colley, Minister of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment and Hon. Yusupha Kah, Minister of Work, Construction and Infrastructure.
The sackings, according to a statement aired on State TV, GRTS, on March 19, 2011 said the two are sacked from their posts with immediate effect. The statement said the ministers were dismissed in accordance with the powers vested upon the President by the 1997 Constitution of The Gambia.

Gambia Government: D40 million spent on evacuees

The Government of The Gambia has announced that it spent 40 millions dalasi to evacuate Gambians and non-Gambians who were trapped in conflict stricken Libya.
The move followed several days of fighting between Gaddafi’s forces in rebel held territories after initial protests for the leader of the Great Socialists’ Arab Jamahiriya to step down. In the event that European, American and African were busy evacuating their nationals, Gambia government also joined to rescue 1010 people, among them non-Gambians.  

Friday, March 18, 2011

President Jammeh meets with Independent Media

Jammeh, Ministers and Media Chiefs (pix by The Point)
In a rear move, the Gambian President Yahya Jammeh met with media chiefs of privately owned newspapers on Wednesday March 16, 2011 at State House in the capital, Banjul.
The meeting with the Independent Media is aimed at strengthening government-media relations and to address concerns such as access to information and government functions by the independent media. The meeting followed an earlier invitation to State House extended to media chiefs.
Speaking on the occasion, President Jammeh expressed his commitment to his oath of office and noted that some members of the press may have interpreted his attempt to reach out to the press as a public relation exercise or an attempt to appease the press due to the uprisings in other countries.

Gambia: Olympic future remains uncertain

Youth & Sports Minister
When the Gambia National Olympic Committee (GNOC) presidential elections where held in a confusing atmosphere though the general body voted 26-0 to elect Momodou Dibba as president at the expense of his rival Abdoulie Touray’s storm-out.
It was hope that the dust for the long-standing presidential crisis has settled down once and for all, with the intervention of the National Assembly Select Committee on Sports prior to the second scheduled date for the polls.
However, following a petition by Mr. Touray’s camp challenging the manner in which the February 12 votes were conducted, the Sport Ministry announced that it had set up a Sports Tribunal effective March 10, 2011 to look into the elections.

Good Reproductive Health is Vital for Humanity


It is  an established fact that  good reproductive and child health  is vital for the  survival of humanity and  there  is  the need  for every  human being  to ensure  that  the human race continues to exist, Gambia’s Vice President  Madam Isatou Njie-Saidy has said.
She said: “Women on whom  nature  has  placed  the greater responsibility for childbirth  and child care  must be provided   with adequate  health care and support, pregnant women must always  feel confident  that  they can receive  the right care  at all time, and that they can safely  deliver  healthy babies.”
Madam Njie-Saidy, who is also the Minister for Women Affairs, was speaking at the opening of the 11th Meeting of the West African College of Nursing on Tuesday March 15, 2011 at the Kairaba Beach Hotel, Kololi.

VP Njie-Saidy raises concerns over short lived platforms

The rational for establishing and strengthening national platforms in West Africa is based on the need to make substantial progress in implementing the ECOEAS Policy for Disaster Risk Reduction, Vice President of The Gambia Dr. Isatou Njie-Saidy has said.
However, she lamented that most platforms are active for a short time after their launching and then disappear into oblivion due mostly to capacity constraints in developing and implementing their priority activities and programmes at national and local levels.

UN Director charts on gender equality and women’s rights


The agenda to secure gender equality and women’s rights is a global agenda, a challenge for every country, rich and poor, north and south, the Executive Director of United Nations (UN) Women Michelle Bachelet has said.
“It was in recognition of both its universality and the rewards if we get this right that the United Nation brought together four existing organizations to create the UN Women,” she said on the occasion of the hundred year marking International Women’s Day, March 8, 2011.

Government is the primary duty bearer in advancing development


In part two of this interview, the Executive Director of GAMCOTRAP Dr. Isatou Touray has been telling The Voice Newspaper that The Gambia Government is the primary duty bearer in advancing development in a country.
However, she said the government cannot do it all alone, thus, it should allow and give civil society the opportunity to play their part. The Gambia Committee against Harmful Traditional Practices (GAMCOTRAP) and other organizations are contributing to the development work of the Government of The Gambia socially, politically and economically.

Fish traders in Tanjie appealing for storage facilities


Fishermen and fish vendors in Tanjie have appealed to the Government of The Gambia to help them with storage facilities for the preservation of their fishes.
Tanjie, a village in Kombo South District in the West Coast Region is a hub for fisheries businesses; however, dealers in the sector told The Voice over the weekend that they have been experiencing massive losses due to inadequate preservation facilities.
Mr. Jakaria Sowe, a Fish Vendor and a resident of Serrekunda said there difficulties dwell on the lack of storage facilities. The ice block processed by the Ice Plant cannot serve all the people which result to “big losses” in our business.
“I am appealing to the government to help us with storage facilities in order to reduce the perishing of fishes,” he said.

Absence of witness retards rights activists’ trial

The absence of the 9th prosecution witness in the theft case against two women rights activists, Dr. Isatou Touray and Amie Bojang Sissoho has resulted to the non-procedure of the trial on March 9, 2011.
The Executive Director and Programme Manager of the Gambia Committee Against Harmful Traditional Practices (GAMCOTRAP) are standing trial on one count of theft at the Banjul Magistrate Court presided by Magistrate Alagbe Taiwo Ade.

Gambia to host WAFU General Assembly


Banjul has been penciled down as the venue for the next elective General Assembly of the West African Football Union (WAFU), Observer Sports can reveal.

The one-day gathering, which will gather FA presidents from all the 16-member countries and other continental football dignitaries including the Chief Executive Officer of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Danny Jordan, is scheduled for April 9, 2011 at the Kairaba Beach Hotel.
This development, according the president of the Gambia Football Association Mr Seedy Kinteh, was made on the sidelines of the 33rd General Assembly of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) held last month in Khartoum, Sudan.

45 youths defects from the ruling party to join UDP


Gambia’s main opposition party, the United Democratic Party (UDP) has announce that 45 youths from Sami Madiyana, a village in Sami District, the Central River Region (CRR) has defected from the APRC party to the UDP.
Mr. Single Nyassi, the Organizing Secretary of the UDP said this is becoming a phenomenon on a weekly basis that people are defecting from the ruling Alliance for Patriotic Re-orientation and Construction (APRC) to join the UDP. He said: “We are urging all Gambians to feel free and attend UDP programmes and rallies in other to compare what UDP has to offer and that of the APRC, and then they can decide on their party choices.”

Gambia U23 withdraw from Olympic qualifier


GFA President Seedy MB Kinteh (Pix gambiasports)
Rumors had been spreading for a week or so after Observer Sports’ initial report that the Gambia Football Association were struggling to come up with the funds to pay for the Gambia Under 23’s participation in the 2012 London Olympic qualifiers.
Now it has been confirmed: The Under 23 team have been withdrawn from the qualifier barely a week before their first leg preliminary fixture against Benin in Coutonou.
The president of the Gambia Football Association, Seedy Kinteh owes the withdrawal to financial reason.
“We have to pull out of the qualifiers because we have no fund to support the team,” he said.
Giving the exposure the team would have enjoyed at the London finals, this withdraw would be a bitter blow for the players who have now had their chance taken away from them through no fault of their own.
The Under 23 withdrawal also means Gambian fans will now turn all attention to the U-20 team preparing for the delayed African U-20 Youth Championship finals, albeit the preparations of coach Lamin Sarr’s tutored side are far from being smooth.

Poor Sanitation: A poverty trap for low-income families


Pix by UNICEF
A Health Specialist at the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has described poor sanitation as a poverty trap for small-earning households.
“Recent estimates have shown that national coverage for improved sanitation is only 67 percent and in some regions, it is as low as 31 percent,” Mr. Momodou K. Cham said on March 10, 2011.
He was speaking at the opening of a day-long Validation on The Gambia National Strategy for Sanitation and Hygiene at the Office of the National Nutrition Agency (NaNA) in Banjul. “I find the statistics very disturbing as time is running to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target in 2015,” he stressed.
He said the challenge is enormous and requires translating the policy into action, prioritise sanitation on the national development agenda and engage community-base approaches such as Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS).

Defending champions opens league with win

The defending champions of the Gambia Football Association Premier League, Gambia Port Authority (GPA) started their title defence with a win over Africell FC on Wednesday 9th March, 2011 at the Father Gough Sport Complex in Manjai Kunda.
GPA bounces back with a 1-0 win over Africell after 72 hours of loosing the Super Cup to Gamtel on Sunday 6th March.

Regional seminar on currency management and forecasting ends


Director General WAIFEM Prof. Akpan H. Ekp
The sub regional body, West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM) and De La Rue has ended a week-long “Regional Workshop on Banknote and Currency Management and Forecasting in Central Banks” at the Paradise Suites Hotel, Kololi, The Gambia on March 11, 2011.
The training covered topics such as New Challenges in Currency Management; New Directions in Banknote Design; Security Features Against Counterfeiting; Forecasting the Demand for Banknotes; and Country Case Studies on Currency Management.
Speaking at the closing ceremony, the Governor of the Central Bank of The Gambia (CBG) Hon. Amadou Colley commended WAIFEM for bringing the issue of financial management to The Gambia.

UDP raises doubts over the credibility of the IEC


UDP Leader Lawyer Ousainou Darboe
Condemns arrest of opposition supporter in URR
Single Nyassi, the Campaign Manager of the United Democracy Party (UDP) has raised doubts over the credibility of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), since its Chairman is appointed by the President of The Gambia. 
However, he told The Voice Newspaper on Friday March 11, 2011 at the party’s Bureau in Banjul that the UDP is waiting to see what will happen during the first step to the polls (the general registration of voters).
“The UDP is waiting to see the way and manner the general voter registration will be conducted by the IEC,” he said.

Convict Tamba and Fofana, urges Prosecutor Kulo

Fofana (L), Tamba (R)
State Prosecutor Denial O. Kulo has urged the High Court to convict Langtombong Tamba and Sarjo Fofana on all the four counts of treasonable offences.
Kulo, who is also the Director of Special Litigation, was addressing the Special Criminal Division of the High Court in Banjul before Justice Ikpala on Monday 14th March 2011.
On count one (Conspiracy), Kulo said the accused persons participated in the meetings of the alleged coup plot; however, he said not everybody is accepted to participate in such meetings.
He cited numerous court case in The Gambia Law Report and That of Nigeria back his arguments. He also referred the court to exhibit C (statement of Bunja Darboe), arguing that the witness gave a graphic description of how he was given a ride by the first accused,

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Currency management: A critical aspect of central banks’ functions

Professor Akpan H. Ekpo
Director General WAIFEM
A week-long “Regional Workshop on Banknote and Currency Management and Forecasting in Central Banks” organised by the West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM) in cooperation with De La Rue kicks off in Banjul, The Gambia on March 7, 2011. 
The organisers said the event, ending on March 11 could not have come at a more auspicious time given the problems of currency management in the sub-region and the urgent need to chart a new direction consistent with best practices, in order to engender greater efficiency and minimize the cost of printing and minting currency.
“Currency management is a critical aspect of central banks’ functions. The integrity of the currency and efficient supply of banknotes are indicators of a well-functioning central bank, especially in predominantly cash-based economies such as ours,” Honorable Amadou Colley, the Governor of the Central Bank of The Gambia (CBG) said.

No level playing ground for politics in The Gambia

Jammeh
In part two of our interview with Mr. Kemesseng Jammeh, the United Democratic Party’s (UDP) former National Assembly Member for Jarra West, our Reporter Sulayman Ceesay discuses with him on the current political situation of The Gambia.
There is very little space for a level playing ground in Gambian politics regardless of having a constitution which calls for multi-party democracy; Mr. Jammeh told The Voice Newspaper at his residence in Tallinding on March 2, 2011.
“Going by the constitution is fine but more often than not what is happening is different from what is in our constitution,” the erstwhile Minority Leader of the National Assembly (1997 – 2001) said.
He accused the ruling party, Alliance for Patriotic Re-orientation and Construction (APRC) of using state machineries at its advantage, thereby creating very little space for free choices.
According to him, local chiefs, Alkalolu (village heads) and other civil servants who are paid by the tax payers have since resorted to acting like “political agents” serving the interest of only one political party.

Boost: Health Journalists receives computers…

The Public Health Research and Development Centre (CIAM) have boosted the Association of Health Journalists (AOHJ) – The Gambia with computer equipments and external hard drives.
During a presentation ceremony on Tuesday March 8, 2011 at CIAM Conference Hall at Kanifing, the Executive Director Dr. Samuel Anya, who spoke on behalf of Mr. Cherno Jallow, Vice Chairman CIAM Board of Trustees, said the materials include 2 sets of computers and five flash drives (external computer devices).
Dr. Anya said the initiative is part of the project “Strengthening Capacity to Utilise Research Evidence in Policy Making in The Gambia”, which is supported by the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research hosted by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Geneva and the Welcome Trust in the United Kingdom (UK). 

Hon. Bekai’s body laid to rest at Baja Kunda in URR

The late lawmaker was accorded a State Burial
Parliamentarians paying last respect (Pix by statehouse.gm)
The remains of the late Hon. Bekai Camara, National Assembly Member for Wuli East Constituency has been laid to rest on Tuesday March 8, 2011 at his home village Baja Kunda, Wuli East District, the Upper River Region (URR) of The Gambia.
The late Hon died on Sunday March 6, 2011, at the Intensive Care Unit at the Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital (RVTH) in Banjul were he was admitted and receiving treatment after what has been described as “a brief” illness.
The decease was laid-in-state on Monday before his colleagues at National Assembly Building in Banjul, the Vice President, Cabinet Minister, a host of Seniors Government officials and sympathizers were present to pay their last respect to their fallen colleague.
Hon. Camara was reported to have suffered from illness and got admitted at the RVTH on February 27, 2011 before his untimely death. He is survived by three wives and children, his mother and a brother.

CAF postpones Libya U20 Championship


As the uprising in Libya seems never to wind down, the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) announces that it has postponed the Orange African Youth Championship 2011 indefinitely.
The Championship was scheduled for Tripoli from March 18 to April 1, 2011. However, the Region’s Football Governing Body said its move is due to security concerns, since the current political situation in Libya is unstable.
“The competition has been postponed to a later date and within a location to be confirmed by CAF in the next few days,” CAF said on its official website – cafonline.com on March 3, 2011.
”CAF will inform all parties of the new confirmed dates of the event, which shall be held in the first half of this year. The semi finalists will represent the continent at the FIFA U-20 World Cup slated for 29 July - 20 August, 2011 in Colombia.”

Cheeky Quotes