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To our subscribers, readers and followers, please be informed that till 2015 this blog may not be UPDATED on a daily basis.

The publisher and editor is currently pursuing a two-year diploma in journalism and may not be able to keep up with the much needed pace and frequency to keep this blog UPDATED regularly.

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Pan-African Journalists Body Slams the African Centre


Omar Faruk Osman, FAJ President
‘ACDHRS’s decision is a support to violators of free expression’
The Federation of African Journalists (FAJ) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has issued a joint statement strongly cautioning the coordinators of the Forum on the Participation of Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) in the 49th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) in Banjul.
The Organisers failed to include a panel of discussion on Freedom of Expression in the agenda of the Forum, and the Pan-African journalists’ body, FAJ and the IFJ stressed that the reason given for the non-inclusion of free expression was given with “untrue rationale”.

Kairaba Hotel bars photo journalist from covering human rights forum

Kairaba Beach Hotel
The Kairaba Beach Hotel in The Gambia has banned Mr. Baboucarr Trawally, a photo journalist from covering the NGOs Forum held at the hotel on April 25, 2011, following complaints that he has been selling empty Compact Discs (CDs), to the hotel guests.
Mr. Trawally, the President of the Photographers Association in The Gambia, was asked by the Hotel’s security personnel to stop filming and taking photographs during the opening of the Forum on the Participation of Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) in the 49th Ordinary Session of the ACHPR and the 23rd African Human Rights Book Fair, in Banjul on Monday.

Elections breeding human rights violations in the East

Hassan Shire
Over the last six months, the human rights situation in the East and the Horn of Africa has continued to be closely linked to the conduct of national elections, with journalists particularly at the receiving end.
In an update on the human rights situation in the region during the Forum on the Participation of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in the 49th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR), Mr. Hassan Shire Sheikh said restrictions on civil and political rights identifies in this period ranged from the development and implementation of restrictive laws – to direct attacks on human rights defenders, including physical and verbal threats, legal and judicial harassment, increased surveillance, and targeted killings.

IHEU condemns blasphemy laws in Africa


Igwe
Says it’s incompatible with basic human rights
The International Humanist Ethical Union (IHEU) has said that it will draw the attention of all stakeholders on human rights in the region to the existence of blasphemy laws in the penal codes of state parties to the African Charter and the threat it poses to the promotion and protection of human rights.
Blasphemy laws criminalize ant act that is interpreted as “an insult to a religion” and the punishment for that is long imprisonment or death in some states.

Magistrate Court exonerates social security MD

Magistrate Alagbe Taiwo Ade of the Banjul Magistrate has acquitted and discharged the erstwhile Managing Director of Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation Mr. Edward Graham.
The prosecution did not give reasons for dropping the charges against Mr. Graham who was put on trial on allegations of economic crimes. He has always maintained his innocence during the course of the trail that began on December 31, 2010.

Media brief on 2011 polio immunization campaign

Pix by nature.com
The Health Education Unit (HEU) at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare on Tuesday 26th April announces that the second round of vaccination against polio is slated for April 29 and May 2.
During the briefing held at the Kanifing Municipal Council, the Unit’s Programme Manager Mr. Yerro Bah said the country wide campaign targets up to 391, 425 children.
So far, he said The Gambia has achieved 74 percent on polio vaccination. This, he said is owed to the vigorous media awareness creation rendered to communities.
“The role of the media is important as far information dissemination is concern on the polio campaign in this country,” he said, while noting that the campaign against polio is also targeted to reach out to children under 5 years old.

AMMREN-The Gambia observes World Malaria Day


Ammren-Gambia Coordinator
The Gambian Chapter of the African Media and Malaria Research Network (AMMREN) yesterday held a one-day seminar for senior reporters and newspaper editors as part of events marking this year’s world malaria day.
 The event, funded by the AMMREN Secretariat in Ghana, was held at the Center for Innovation Against Malaria (CIAM) in Kanifing. Among the topics discussed included the current state of malaria in The Gambia; state of the pheomococal vaccine trial in The Gambia; sharing information on malaria research; and the importance of the usage of Insecticide Treated Bed nets (ITNS).

Production of chemicals is fundamental to economic activities of countries

Alhagie Momodou Canteh, Director and Coordinator of Technical Services Network (DSTN) National Environment Agency (NEA) have said that the production and use of chemicals are fundamental to the economic activities and the development of all countries, whether industrialized or developing.
“Directly or indirectly, chemicals affect the lives of all humans and are essential to our food supply (fertilizers, pesticides, food additives, packaging) our health (pharmaceuticals, cleaning materials), and our daily existence (appliance, fuel etc),” he added.

Ahmadi Muslims urged to be peaceful and law abiding

The Amir of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat in The Gambia Baba F. Trawally has cautioned Ahmadi Muslims across the country never to be involved in disorderliness and should remain peaceful, law abiding citizens and serve their country at heart as commanded and practiced by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
Amir Baba F. Trawally was speaking at the closing ceremony of the 35th Jalsa Salana (Annual Convention) of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat on  24th April 2011 at Nusrat Senior Secondary School in Bundung.

Speaker Hon. Bojang exhorts for a binding mandate for the African Commission


Parliament Speaker, Hon Bojang
The Speaker of the National Assembly in Banjul Hon Abdoulie Bojang has said that Human Rights Defenders are yet to provide effective remedy to all the many alleged human rights violations taking across the African Continent.
This, he said is due to a host of reasons, notable among them, is the need to revisit the Protocol that establishes the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), to enable it move from its current status of advisory, consultative and persuasive mandate, to a more robust, proactive and binding mandate.
Hon Bojang was speaking at the opening of the Forum on the Participation of Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) in the 49th Ordinary Session of the ACHPR and the 23rd African Human Rights Book Fair in Banjul from April 25-27, 2011. The Forum is organised by the African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (ACDHRS) in collaboration with the ACHPR and other human rights organizations.

UDP Frowns at Government’s Position on Ivory Coast


UDP Leader, Ousainou Darboe
Gambia’s main opposition party, the United Democratic Party (UDP) has said the Gambia Government’s recent pronouncement on the situation in Ivory Coast.
In an email to The Voice Newspaper, the UDP said: “To hear the government frame its farfetched claims and feigned outrage at the imagined hidden hands of colonialists attempting to take over a resource rich African country ignores the realities of the events that culminated in the arrests of the former President, Laurent Gbagbo.
“The international presence that the Gambia government seemed so perturbed by came about as a result of the civil war Ivory Coast found itself engulfed in a few years ago with all sides to the conflict agreeing to a United Nations supervised democratization process that was inclusive and engendered long term stability.”

Gambia is not free from criticism, says Abdoul Gadiry Diallo


The NGOs Forum
The Coordinator of the West African Human Rights Network Mr. Abdoul Gadiry Diallo has said that The Gambia, which is the host of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), is not free from criticism when it comes to human rights violations.
Mr. Diallo was presenting a paper on an “Update on the Human Rights Situation in West Africa” at the Forum on the Participation of Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) in the 49th Ordinary Session of the ACHPR and the 23rd African Human Rights Book Fair in Banjul from April 25-27, 2011. The Forum is organised by the African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (ACDHRS) in collaboration with the ACHPR and other human rights organizations.

Credit Unions: ‘The sharpest cutting edge against poverty’


At a time when the global target of ending poverty is running out, earnings dropping or stagnating and prices of basic commodities on a free rise, the Gambia Teachers Union (GTU) believes that Credit Unions are the most progressive tool to fight poverty.
During its 14th General Assembly held at St. Therese’s Upper Basic School, Kanifing Municipality, on April 23, 2011, the Gambia Teachers Union Co-operative Credit Union (GTUCCU) adopted the theme “Credit Unions: the sharpest cutting edge against poverty”.
According to the Board Chairman of GTUCCU, Edrissa Bojang, fifteen years of challenging circumstances strengthened their desire and determination to tackle head-on the menace of poverty.

‘Moral injustice has left the world in moral degradation…’ says Amir Trawally


Amirs on the high table
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat in The Gambia observed its 35th Jalsa Salana (Annual Convention) from 22-24 April, 2011 at Nusrat Senior Secondary School in Bundung.
The event attracted hundreds of the members of the Jamaat from across The Gambia and delegations from neighbouring Senegal, Guinea Bissau and United Kingdom.
Various topics, including Moral and Spiritual revolution of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW), Islam and Globalization, the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi’s love for the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW), custom and traditions in conflict with Islam, Prophecies and their fulfillment on the advent of the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi and Khilafat a divine institution, where discussed.

Ministry of Health took World Malaria Day to the North Bank Region


The Gambia Government, through the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, in partnership with local and international partners, yesterday joined the rest of the World in commemorating the World Malaria Day (WMD) 2011.
The celebrations on April 25, marks the 11th Anniversary of the Day chosen by United Nations. In The Gambia, this year marked the fourth anniversary of the Day and celebrations has been over the years headed by the National Malaria Control Program (NMCP) and others partners in the fight against the killer disease.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The state of economic development in West Africa


At the beginning of the global financial crisis in late 2008, it was generally believed that the West Africa sub-region would not seriously be affected in view of the sub-region’s limited integration in the global finance market.
The Voice Newspaper’s News Editor Modou S. Joof looks at the prospects and the realities as per the 2009 Annual Report of the West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management, WAIFEM.
The severity and impact of the global economic crisis resulted in lower real gross domestic product, GDP (the total value of goods and services that a country produces in a year) of 3.0 percent compared with 5.5 percent in 2008.

Combating malaria can reduce maternal mortality and morbidity


The Director of Health Services at Ministry of Health and Social Welfare Dr. Mamady Cham has said that the fight against malaria can played a key role in reducing maternal mortality and morbidity.
According to him, achieving universal strategies to roll back malaria (RBM) is a way of reducing child mortality and morbidity rates in the world as well as working towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target of 2015.
Dr. Cham was speaking Wednesday, April 20, 2011 at the CIAM-NMCP Conference Hall at Kanifing during a press briefing on World Malaria Day (WMD) Commemoration in The Gambia.
The Commemoration is slated for 25th April, 2011 in North Bank Region, and it will also be marked by a variety of activities.

Victim of April 2000 killings appeals for assistance

On April 10-11, 2000, the Gambia Student Union (Gamsu) staged a countrywide protest demanding for justice to be done for a fallen colleague, who was reported to have died as a result of maltreatment by Gambian security officials.
A number of people were killed and others injured in the process, including students.
Eleven years on, Abdou Karim Jammeh, who was a student at the time attending the 9th grade, suffered a gun shot injury while on his way to sat to an examination at his school.
On Tuesday, April 19, 2011, Jammeh walked into the office of The Voice Newspaper to get his appeal for medical support disseminated widely. “I am appealing for support from the Government, Non-Governmental Organisations and individuals for an overseas treatment,” he said.

Gambia: Music Industry or Music Scene


Pix by Flikr
Views from music producers, artists, promoters and managers have revealed contradictory responses to the question, is there a Music Industry in The Gambia?
The responses, contained in a music documentary involving 30 players in the music sector, said there exist a music scene in The Gambia and not necessarily a music industry and vice versa.
“SOUTH GAMBIA Volume 1”, a “Usual Suspects” production in association with “Hot Ink Media” was unveiled on Friday, April 15, 2011 at Ozio (former Cotton club) in Fajara.  The DVD contains a music documentary, profiles of artists and music videos. The two and a half hours DVD contains interviews with some top figures in the modern music scene with an insightful look into the lives artists.

Universal Access: A HIV/AIDS dream that must be achieved


“Universal Access is a dream that must be met and we shall not relent until the day we are all collectively able to ensure that no one living with HIV is stigmatized, young people know how to protect themselves from infection and no infant is born with the virus,” Mr. Nuha Ceesay, UNAIDS Country officer in The Gambia said.
“The commitment to Universal Access therefore established major milestone on the road toward the achievement in 2015 of the Millennium Development Goals especially the target under Goal 6 - but also the wider goal s on poverty, education, gender equality, child mortality and maternal mortality.”

High Court set to adopt convicts’ appeal


Justice Emmanuel Amadi of the High Court in Banjul is set to adopt the appeal filed by six convicts’ all of whom are former National Intelligence Agency (NIA) officers.
The court will take into consideration the appellants stand and the state respondent on May 5, 2011.

Gender inequalities increasing the vulnerability of women and girls to HIV infection


Gender inequalities continue to increase the vulnerability of women and girls to HIV infection, in Sub-Saharan Africa, 14 women are infected for every 10 males, according to the 2008 UNAIDS Annual Report.
The report “Towards Universal Access” said in addition to increasing access to HIV prevention services for women and girls, UNAIDS is encouraging countries to redouble efforts to address vulnerability.
UNAIDS is an innovative joint venture of the United Nations (UN), bringing together the efforts and resources of the UNAIDS Secretariat and 10 UN System Organisations in the AIDS response.

Prosecution closes case in right activists’ trial

Mrs Sissoho & Dr. Touray
On April 20, 2011, the prosecution closed its case in the trial against women rights activists, Dr. Isatou Touray and Mrs. Amie Bojang Sissoho at the Banjul Magistrate Court presided by Magistrate Alagbe Taiwo Ade.
The Executive Director and Programme Manager of Gambia Committee Against Harmful Traditional Practices (GAMCOTRAP) are standing trial on one count of theft. A charge they have denied.

Banjul resident to go to jail if…

Karamo Saidy Fatajo, a resident of Banjul has been convicted and sentence to a fine of D10, 000  in default to serve three months imprisonment on 20th April, 2011 at the Banjul Magistrate Court presided by Magistrate Alagbe Taiwo Ade.
He was found guilty of breach of peace by “saying Senegal will attack The Gambia”.
Magistrate Taiwo said the prosecution called three witnesses to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt and the convicted was found guilty as charged.
Defence counsel Lamin K. Mboge in his plea of mitigation for his client told the court that this is in record that the convict was in police custody for five days and five days in remand before granted a court bail. He said certainly the convicted have learn a bitter lesson that he will never forget in his life not to discuss sensitive political matters in public.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Water!

the author, Modou S. Joof
Respect for human rights sought in the process of access to clean water
The erstwhile United Nations (UN) Secretary General Kofi Anan once described water as an “essential” aspect of life, when he launched the “Water for Life Decade 2010-2015” in 2006.
This decade was proposed for a more action oriented approach towards the provision of sustainable water supply to billions of people from around the world; hence the international community is charged with doing away with too much talk and resort to action.
It is an open secret that access to clean water is a fundamental and legitimate right to all and sundry, and this has even been admitted by the Director General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Ms Irina Bokova, who stress that its is also for the respect of human dignity.
“The gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots” is wider than ever, at a time when the sharing of resources and access to clean water are not only minimum requirements for community life, but also for the respect of human dignity,” she said in her message to the world on World Day for Water 2011.

Poorly prepared Gambia loses to Cameroon


Pix by cafonline
Cameroon winger Salli, who had brought trouble to the Gambian defence, saw his efforts rewarded from a stunning free kick just a minute before half time.
The Gambia U20 and their Cameroon opponents went head to head in the opening game of Group B in the African Youth Championship organised by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in South Africa.
The Gambia U20, the Darling Scorpions enjoyed lion share of ball possession throughout the first period, creating a few chances in the process, however, Salli’s power strike in injury time before the first half was enough to cost the Gambia all three points.

By-Election: Testing Times for Gambia’s oppositions


The forthcoming by-elections in Wuli East Constituency will serve as testing time for  Gambia’s opposition to prove their worth having failed to make a huge impact in both presidential and parliamentary elections since the advent  of the second republic.
Suwaibou Touray is the opposition National Alliance for Democracy Development (NADD) candidate for the by-election in Wuli East, supported by the People for Democratic Independence and Socialism (PDOIS).

Dakar University students end job placement training in Banjul


St Michel Complexe
A group of thirteen students studying International Commerce at the University of Complexe Saint Michel de Dakar in Senegal, an affiliate of the Catholic University of West Africa, recently completed one month job placement at various institutions in The Gambia.
The job placement, which started in 2004, is an aspect of the bilateral relationship between the Dakar institute and St. Augustine’s Senior Secondary School in Banjul, in which the former sends its students annually to The Gambia for job placement mainly at some of the financial institutions in the country to enable the students to perfect their knowledge of English Language and to have on-the-job-training.

GSM Companies asked to register mobile phone users


President Jammeh
Gambia’s President, His Excellency Yahya Jammeh has urged all Mobile Telephony Companies in the country to take details of all sim card users in the country and warns that his government will not hesitate to revoke licenses of operators that failed to comply.
President Jammeh was speaking on State TV, GRTS in midweek at State House in the Gambian capital, Banjul during a meeting with various heads of the security services.
April 15, has already set for the deadline, however, what has not been made clear is the time frame given to GSM operators to meet the deadline.
According to him, the directive is meant to step up the security situation of the country, which he said GSM companies should not help to jeopardize. He also urged the Ministry of Communications to take note with regards to compliance and non-compliance by Mobile telephony companies.

Justice Wowo: Treason convicts’ appeal is incompetent


Ex-CDS Tamba
A three panel of Judges at The Gambia Appeals Court headed by Joseph Wowo, on 14 April, 2011 dismiss an appeal against a death sentence imposed on the erstwhile Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) of The Gambia and six others.
The court maintains the death sentence imposed on erstwhile CDS Langtombong Tamba, Brigadier General Omar Bun Mbye, Major Lamin Bo Badjie, Lieutenant Colonel Kawsu Camara alias Bombardier, former Deputy Inspector General of Police Momodou B. Gaye, Head of Diplomat in Guinea Bissau Gibril Ngorr Secka and Business tycoon Abdoulie Joof, on grounds that the appeal is incompetent and it violates the rule of law of Court of Appeal.
The appellants were sentence to death on two counts of treason by Justice Emmanuel Amadi of the High Court in Banjul, on July 15, 2010.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Setback in West Coast Radio Journalist trial


BB Baldeh, WCR
The criminal trail brought against West Coast Radio (WCR) sports producer and presenter, Bakary B. Baldeh has suffered a setback, after it failed to proceed at the Kanifing Municipal Magistrate Court on April 12, 2011.
Mr. Baldeh is facing one count of “Conspiracy to commit felony”, he has since denied any wrong doing and he is being represented by Counsel Lamin S. Camara.
On Tuesday, he made his fourth appearance at the lower court, but the case could not go ahead as scheduled, following an application for an adjournment by another police prosecutor, Inspector Mballow.
He informed the Court that the prosecutor handling the case, Assistant Superintendent Camara is on leave and he (Mballow) cannot proceed with the case since he is not yet familiar with the case and doesn’t even have the case file.
The defence made no objection to the application and Magistrate Sheriff B. Tabally adjourned the case till April 28 at 10am.

Danny Jordaan: Football is essential, but we must engage investors


Danny Jordaan (pix by ESPN)
Danny Jordaan, the Chief Executive Officer of the South Africa World Cup Organising Committee has called on football officials in Africa to engage their development partners to invest in the game.
Mr. Jordan was a special guest of the Gambia Football Association (GFA) and West African Football Union (WAFU) who jointly hosted the April 9, 2011 General Assembly in Banjul.
Mr. Jordaan, who said “football is essential”, revealed that he is engaging business entities in his country to invest in football across the continent.

Gambia FA Boss Seedy Kinteh defends GNOC officials


Kinteh, GFA Boss
The President of Gambia Football Association (GFA) Seedy Kinteh yesterday told the Kanifing Municipality Magistrate Court that the three Olympic officials accused of theft did not stole the D34, 000, 00 they are being accused of.
“The money is there for safe keeping,” he said, while giving his testimony before Magistrate Sheriff B. Tabally on Wednesday.
The 1st Vice President of Gambia National Olympic Committee (GNOC) Beatrice Allen, Treasurer Ousman Wadda and Accountant Muhammad Janneh are standing trial on one count of theft. They have denied any wrong doing since taking their plea in February 2011.
The GFA president is the 4th prosecution witness and when he stood in the dock, he told the court that GFA is affiliated to the GNOC. He said sometime in January 2010, he received four months allowance for Langtombong Tamba from the Olympic Committee amounting to D34, 000 during which time, Langtombong Tamba, the former president of the GNOC, was detained.

Qatar’s Bin Hammam poised to address corruption within FIFA


Bin Hammam (Getty Images)
The Vice President of the International Federation of Football Association (FIFA) Mr. Mohammed Bin Hammam has said he is poised to deal with the issue of corruption within FIFA, once he is elected as president.
Corruption has been perceived to be a major issue within the ranks of the world football governing body, especially after high profile allegations of exchanging votes for money by some FIFA Executives during the 2018 and 2022 World Cup Bidding in Zurich late last year.
However, Bin Hammam, who is also the President of the Asia Football Confederation (AFC), said on his blog that he will write to the current FIFA President (Sepp Blatter) to congratulate him for putting his name forward for a fourth term.
“I will let him know that I see this election as an opportunity for us to prove that FIFA is not corrupt and that the organisation is open and democratic. I will tell him that throughout this campaign we should respect FIFA's Statutes and protect FIFA's integrity by ensuring that there will be no outside interference in the attempt to win votes; the influence of third parties should not be tolerated or accepted,” he said.

WAFU President plays down total support for Bin Hammam


Nyantakyi, GFA Boss
GFA Boss Nyantakyi hopes CAF will act within the laws
The newly elected Interim President of the West African Football Union (WAFU) Kwesi Nyantakyi has played down talks that the Union is fully behind Mohammed Bin Hammam, a FIFA Presidential Candidate.
Mr. Nyantakyi, the Ghana Football Association President, was speaking at a press briefing at the end of the WAFU meeting in Banjul, The Gambia on April 9, 2011.

Money laundering could have devastating effects on national economies


Director General WAIFEM Prof. Akpan H. Ekp
The Central Bank of The Gambia (CGB) is hosting a week-long Regional Course on Combating Money Laundering and other Financial Crimes in Banjul from April 11-15, 2011.
The course is organised by the West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management, WAIFEM for 30 participants drawn from financial institutions, security units and the media from Ghana, Liberia, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and The Gambia. The Voice Newspaper’s Modou S. Joof and Amadou Bah reports on the views expressed by economic think-tanks.

Gambians urged to do away with fanfare and face reality


Halifa Sallah
The Secretary General of the People for Democratic Independence and Socialism (PDOIS) has stressed the need for Gambians to move away from fanfare and face the reality.
This is because the economic-base of this country can no longer take the burden of the young people and therefore the young people who neglected the change should be more concerned because change is their future, according to Mr. Sallah.
“In the Gambia every 12 years, 300, 000 young people will be produce by the school system and they will enter into the labour market and if these young people did not have employment, how are they going to support their mothers or even get married and it is the concern of the mothers for their sons and daughters to be married,” he explained.

African Governments urged to ratify and domesticate the UNCRPD


The 3rd Africa workshop of the Contact Group for Mental Health and Deafness (ACGMHD) has strongly recommended that Deaf people be involved in decision making processes.
The Group also demands that the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) be adhered to, especially where it referred to Deaf people and strongly calls on African Countries to sign and ratify the UNCRPD and ensure that legislations are aligned therewith.
The recommendations followed a meeting held in Mbabane, Swaziland from 7 to 11 February, 2011, under the theme “Working Together for a Better Future for Deaf People and their Families in Africa”.

Opposition parties are not a threat to the APRC


Yankuba Colley, KMC Mayor
The National Mobiliser of the ruling Alliance for Patriotic Re-orientation and construction (APRC) Mayor Yankuba Colley, has stressed that the opposition are never a threat to the APRC, because they are minor to the ruling party.
“But as time goes on, people will see for themselves what is on the ground,” he told The Voice in an interview at his office yesterday. “The oppositions are the minority, they can talk big, but they are still a minority, in most places you hardly heard about them. It’s just that they used newspapers,” Mayor Colley said. 
Asked about the determination of opposition parties to effect change come the November 2011 polls, the Kanifing Municipality Mayor said: “I believed that there is a particular newspaper who intended to champion the Kingship issue for the opposition, it does not matter they make it an issue for people to talk about it, it does not matter much in the Gambian politics.”
On level of preparedness, he said that people always asked the level of the preparedness of the APRC but to me that should not be a question, because APRC is an organized party and we are always prepared. We did not see election as the only time of coming together; we are prepared since we were elected into office.”

PAAPA LENGTHY AKA ‘JAISIIT BII’


Gambian music has seen an upsurge in great talents in the recent past, defined by the “Golden Generation” of Rap Music in the early nineties (90s) and the (a) days of the new Millennium.
In recent years, besides reggae and traditional music, Hip Hop and R‘N’B has be very much a force to be reckon with, gaining much popularity and inline with modern day music. Trading along these lines is Gambia’s own Paapa Lengthy, who is also known as Jaisiit Bii – Sii Paah Bii (the crocodile - in the hole).
Born in the early eighties (80s) at Dobson Street in Gambia’s capital, Banjul, Aboubacarr Sadiqh Ceesay was brought up by his parents at Lartikunda German, a town situated a few kilometers north of Banjul, in the Kanifing Municipality.
At an early stage, the singer lost both of his parents during which time he has since developed a strong love for music. He started his performance during his days at Methodist Primary School formerly Boys High School, Banjul, where his Ghanaian teacher Mr. Appiah introduced him to the Choir as a “Baritone Singer”.  

Friday, April 15, 2011

Golf Club, Radio Journalist Trial hold-back

The criminal trial involving four members of the Fajara Golf Club and West Coast Radio (WCR) Journalist, Bakary B. Baldeh suffered a set-back on April 12, 2011 at the Kanifing Magistrates Court.
The five accused persons are sharing two charges of “conspiracy to commit a felony”, and “prohibition of conduct to breach the peace” before Magistrate Sheriff B. Tabally.
They have since denied any wrong doing and are being represented by Counsels Pap Cheyassin Secka, Kebba Sanyang and Lamin Camara.

Senior Members of Gambia Amateur Boxing Association charged


Four Executive Members of The Gambia Amateur Boxing Association has been arraigned and charged with two criminal counts at the Kanifing Municipality Magistrate Court on April 11. 2011.
The quartet, Tamsir Biram Sarr, Sakko Drammeh, Momodou Jallow and Ali Jagana are answering to charges of “Conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor” and “Obtaining money by false pretence”. They have denied the charges and are represented by counsel Bachilly.

State Agent testifies in NIA torture trial

An officer of The Gambia National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDEA), Lamin Sima has opened his testimony in the criminal trial of four Senior National Intelligence Agency (NIA) officers on 11 April, 2011 at the Banjul Magistrate Court, presided over by Magistrate Alagbe Taiwo Ade.
The former senior intelligence officers, Lamin Darboe, Ebrima Drammeh, Edrissa Jobe and Omar Jammeh are charged with three counts of “conspiracy”, “assault causing actual bodily harm” and “common assault”. They have since pleaded Not Guilty to the charges.

SDF trains stakeholders on micro-finance best practices


The Social Development Fund (SDF) is holding a three-day course for stakeholders on micro-finance best practices, from April 13-15, 2011 at the Paradise Suites Hotel in Kololi, The Gambia.
The course is initiated under its Entrepreneurship Promotion and Microfinance Development Project (EPMDP). The course is aim at equipping participants on the knowledge and skill required in various small and medium microfinance programmes.

Jabang Alkalo said he tried to prevent trouble in his village


The 2nd Defence Witness, Pa Ebrima Colley has said that he pleaded with the accused, Moses Richards in order to prevent trouble from taking its cause in his village.
Pa Colley was continuing his testimony on April 11, 2011 in the trial of Mr. Moses Richards, who is standing trial before the Acting Principal Magistrate Alagba of the Banjul Magistrate Court. He is charged with two counts of giving “false information” and “sedition”. Charges he denied.
Pa Colley, the Alkalo (Village Head) of Jabang in the West Coast Region, told the Court that he appealed to Moses Richards to write a letter on his behalf in order to avert a big problem at his village. 

Disability Background in The Gambia


National Policies in their earlier versions paid only superficial attention to the concerns and needs of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs)
There is limited up to date statistics on disability prevalence in The Gambia. However, applying the global estimate that 10 percent of the population in any country are Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) at any given time indicates that there are about 150, 000 PWDs (10 percent of 1.5million) in the country.
Taking an average of 22 per 1000 (16 per 1000 from the 1998 National Disability Survey and 28 per1000 from the 2003 National Population Census), the number of PWDs in The Gambia would be approximately 33, 000, The Voice Newspaper’s Mafugi Ceesay reports on the prevalence of disability as per the Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) Disability Guide 2010.
The magnitude of disability is a growing phenomenon in The Gambia noting the prevalence rate of 16 per thousand (1.6 percent) of the population, according to the figures of 1998 national disability survey, compared to 28 per thousand (2.8 percent) of the population from the National Population and Housing Census of April 2003. The gender differentials for males and females for the 1998 survey was 17.4 and 13.9 per 1000 respectively.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

FORMER DAILY OBSERVER EDITOR HONOURED IN THE US


On its 90th, International Institute honors 4 who made it 

Omar Bah, erstwhile News Editor, Daily Observer, Banjul    




PROVIDENCE — A former West African journalist who was forced into exile, a Cambodian survivor of the Khmer Rouge holocaust, a member of Sri Lanka’s Tamil ethnic minority who became a Rhode Island business owner, and state Rep. Grace Diaz, the first Dominican-American woman elected to state office in this country, were honored for their achievements Wednesday at the International Institute of Rhode Island’s 90th annual luncheon. 

The “Pathway to the American Dream” luncheon at the Rhode Island Convention Center raised $130,000 for the International Institute, the state’s largest immigration agency. IIRI provides such services as refugee resettlement, ESL classes, skills development and legal immigration, citizenship and interpretation help.

Monday, April 11, 2011

WAFU postpones Banjul Elections, suspends Executive Committee

Kwesi Nyantakyi, Heads WAFU Interim Executive Committee
The West African Football Union, WAFU said it has postponed its Elections until later in the year, but have made a decision to suspend its current executive committee and appoints an interim committee.
Its President, Nigeria’s Amos Adamu has since been suspended from all football and football related activities for three years in November following claims he had asked for money in exchange of his 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding vote.
It is in this regard that WAFU decided to convene an “Extraordinary General Assembly” in Banjul, The Gambia on 9th April, 2011 to elect a new president and an executive as well. Adamu and his executive committee have been accused of being dormant during their unfinished-tenure.

Bin Hammam Extends FIFA Presidency Campaign to WAFU

Bin Hammam (Getty Images)
The President of the Asia Football Federation, Mohammed Bin Hammam has sought for support from the West African Football Union (WAFU) in a campaign on his bid to become the President of the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA).
The current Vice President of the World Football Governing Body, FIFA told WAFU at its Extraordinary General Assembly in Banjul, The Gambia on April 9, 2011 that he has come to campaign amongst “brothers and sisters”.
“It is right and long overdue that the stage of friendship has passed, we are brothers and sisters and we have passed through thick and thin in our endeavours and have come to know each others problems,” he said.
He added: “I am vying for the FIFA presidency and I represent not only my country or region but the world at large.”

CAF mutes over Adamu’s corruption charges

CAF Executive, Kabele Camara
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has decided to keep quiet on the corruption charges brought against its Executive Member and President of the West African Football Union (WAFU), Amos Adamu.
This was revealed by another Executive Member of CAF, Almamy Kebele Camara, who was delegated by President Issa Hayatou to the WAFU Extraordinary General Assembly in Banjul on 9th April, 2011, co-organised by the Gambia Football Association (GFA) and WAFU.
Amos Adamu is suspended from all football and football related activities for three years since November 2010 following claims he had asked for money in exchange of his 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding votes.

Access to clean water is a respect for human dignity

Pix by P&G Give Health Clean Water Blogivation (Kenya)
The 2011 World Day for Water was marked on March 22 on the theme “Water for cities: responding to the urban challenge” and UNESCO has once again a called for the response to the immense challenges posed by water management to the entire global community.
The Director General of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Ms Irina Bokova says the theme serves to remind us all that for the first time in the history of humanity, most of the world’s population is living in cities.
“Urban sprawl continues and slums, which continue to expand, represent 38 percent of this growth. Today, they are home to 1 billion people. The rise in the urban population has outstripped the development of water management, treatment and sanitation infrastructure,” Ms Bokova said.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

THE DAILY NEWS MARKS TWO YEAR ANNIVERSARY

Saikou Jammeh, Editor-The Daily News
 The Editor Speaks
The Daily News, a privately owned newspaper in Banjul, The Gambia on April 6, 2011 observed its two year anniversary at its premises at No. 65 Kombo Sillah Drive, Churchill’s Town, Serrekunda.
The independent tri-weekly newspaper publishes in print and online and ever since its inception, it has fiercely guarded the values of free enterprise, anchored on social justice and democracy.
Accordind to its Editor-In-Chief, Saikou Jammeh, their uncompromising commitment to journalistic integrity has seen the paper grow into a powerful voice bringing to the public and the world the untold stories of the country and beyond.
The paper also has a principle of not granting blanket anonimity to sources...... The Editor Speaks....

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Government contradicts earlier reports on closure of private radio station


Taranga FM, a privately-owned radio station in the suburbs of Serrekunda was closed down for a month by Gambian Security Agents for reviewing what has been termed as “opposition” newspapers, according to media reports.
The Sinchu Alagie-based community radio was running its popular news broadcast “Xibari-Besbi” in which it reviewed mainly news published by private or independent newspapers in the “Wolof language” for most uneducated Gambians or those who do not have access to newspapers.

West Africa: Only one step towards free trade in 30 years


“Its is a disturbing fact that since the creation of ECOWAS over 30  years ago, West Africa as a regional economic community has only moved one step to the level of free trade in our economic integration,” The ECOWAS Commissioner for Trade Alhaji Mohammed B. Daramy said on April 4, 2011.
Commissioner Daramy was speaking at the opening of a five-day joint meeting by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS/UNMOA) and the Committee for the Management of the ECOWAS Common External Tariff (CET) in Banjul, The Gambia - from April 4-8, 2011.

Cheeky Quotes