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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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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

ACTIVITY REPORT OUTGOING GPU PRESIDENT, NDEY TAPHA SOSSEH

Ndey Tapha Sosseh

ON THE OCCASION OF THE TRIENNIAL CONGRESS OF THE GAMBIA PRESS UNION

Members, Colleagues, Partners, Friends of the Gambia Press Union,
Having addressed you at the opening ceremony, through Pa Momodu Faal, outgoing treasurer, let me express my delight at being able to join you by skype link this morning to account for activities/resources that this Union executive led by me since March 22, 2008, embarked on, implemented and spent in your name and on your behalf.

Solidarity Message: International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)

Jim Boumelha is president of the International Federation of Journalists
From the President
 
Ndey Tapha Sosseh President Gambian Press Union 24th June 2011
 
Dear friends,
It gives me great pleasure to be able to congratulate you on your triennial congress today on behalf of the IFJ and its unions worldwide. This should be indeed a tremendous commemoration of journalism but also a wonderful tribute to what your union and its leadership have achieved.

OPENING CEREMONY OF THE TRIENNIAL CONGRESS OF THE GAMBIA PRESS UNION

Ndey Tapha Sosseh
WELCOME REMARKS BY GPU PRESIDENT, NDEY TAPHA SOSSEH
GTMI HALL, KANIFING 24-26 JUNE 2011

Colleagues and friends of the media, we are once again gathered here at the GTMI Hall to discuss and take stock and reflect on the activities, achievements, successes and failures of the Gambia Press Union, the current leadership.  The detailed agenda that had been circulated indicates to you all the seriousness of the deliberations and the need to add valuable input into the various texts proposed to strengthen the Union.

Before going further, I’d once again like to sincerely apologise that I am unable to be amongst you in person to partake in an event which I daresay is the most important, memorable and decisive event since my executive has taken over the mantle of leadership of the GPU.  

Solidarity message from the President of the Federation of African Journalists

FAJ President & Secretary General NUSOJ, Omar Faruk Osman
 To the Gambia Press Union on the occasion of holding its Congress in Banjul, The Gambia

Distinguished guest, Delegates, Friends, Brothers & Sisters,

I bring fraternal greetings from the Federation of African Journalists on the occasion of holding your congress as an independent and democratic journalist organization. I wish you all the success in this congress and more victories in the future.

GOODWILL MESSAGE TO GPU

Mohammed Garba
National President NUJ
Nigeria Union of Journalists – NUJ/WAJA

The National President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists – NUJ and President, West African Journalists Association-WAJA, MUHAMMMAD GARBA, extends the goodwill of both WAJA and NUJ to the Gambia Press Union as it convenes the Congress of its union on Sunday, June 26, 2011. GARBA notes with satisfaction the very dynamic role played by the union in recent years in encouraging the freedom of the press and in promoting democracy.

A Brief History of The Gambia Press Union (GPU)

DA Jawo
The Gambia Press Union was founded in 1978 by a group of journalists in the private media, replacing the moribund Gambia Journalists Association. It became the sole organization representing Gambian journalists and among its objectives was to promote media freedom, professionalism and ethics.

Among its founding members were the late William Dixon-Colley, the late Deyda Hydara, and the late M. B. Jones. The only surviving member of that pioneering group is Pap Saine.

The GPU has had a chequered history. While its founder members were quite determined to attract as many journalists as possible, it was virtually impossible to attract journalists in the government media, which was then Radio Gambia and the Gambia News Bulletin; because not only did they not have the courage to become members, but the Union was seen in some official quarters as being synonymous with the opposition, apparently because most of its original members were also newspaper owners/publishers who often criticized the government.

Successes And Failures Of Gambia Press Union

Madi MK Ceesay, Former GPU President
Success
Gambia Press Union (GPU) was founded in 1978 by a group of private journalists under the leadership of the veteran Gambian journalist and publisher, the late Mr. W. Dixon Colley.    
The union has grown since then to where we are today.

GPU has numbered more than a few hundred registered members many of whom are freelance journalists. Others work for both the print and electronic media including some in government service.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

358, 000 women dies while pregnant or giving birth - report


More than 1000 Midwives took to the streets in Durban
The 2011 Midwifery Reports has projected an annual death rate of 358, 000 women who are either pregnant or giving birth, with some 2 million newborns dying within the first 24 hours of life and a record of 2.6 million stillbirths.
The State of the World’s Midwifery 2011: “Delivering Health, Saving Lives” published by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on June 20, blames the loss of lives on “inadequate healthcare”.

Journalist Dodou Sanneh’s trial adjourned


The absence of the prosecution witness has hold back the trial of Journalist Dodou Sanneh on 20th June 2011 at the Banjul Magistrate Court presided by Magistrate Manyima Bojang.
Sanneh, a former reporter for Gambia Radio and Television Service (GRTS) is standing trial on one count of giving false information to a public officer. He denied any wrong denied.

Murder!

 1st witness testifies in murder trial against state agents
 
More stores...
  • UN High Level Meeting Ends
  • What negotiations are ongoing in NAPSA trial
  • Ensa Badjie questions Musa Susso on ‘dead bull’

Pro-opposition supporters urge leaders to come to terms


Following Henry Gomez’s call for the leaders of the three main opposition parties to give chance to young politicians to take the lead, pro-opposition supporters in The Gambia who spoke to The Voice have urged various party leaders to come to terms.
This, they claim is for the betterment of the country and its people as the 2011 elections is drawing closer. However, they lament that yet no concrete agreement has been made with regards to a possible alliance.
The United Democratic Party, UDP; National Alliance for Democracy and Development, NADD; and the National Re-conciliation Party, NRP (Ousainou Darboe, Hamat Bah and Halifa Sallah) were singled out. The trio has been in the vanguard of Gambian politics for many years. 

GADHOH laments the ‘non-prioritization’ of rehabilitation and integration of the Deaf


Also in the news...
  • Minority Leader disagrees with Finance Minister on road project  
  • GAMCOTRAP officials to open defence
  • $12 million to finance UTG project

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Journalists in Exile 2010

An exodus from Iran, East Africa

CPJ - At least 85 journalists fled their home countries in the past year in the face of attacks, threats, and possible imprisonment. High exile rates are seen in Iran and in the East African nations of Somalia and Ethiopia.
At least 29 Iranian editors, reporters, and photographers fled into exile over the past 12 months, the highest annual tally from a single country in a decade, a new survey by the Committee to Protect Journalists has found. CPJ also found a significant spike in the number of journalists fleeing violence and harassment in East Africa.
Iranian photographer Mohammad Kheirkhan, left, documents protests in Tehran. Kheirkhan was forced into exile. (Payam Borazjani)

AU Summit to discus youth empowerment for sustainable development


President Obiang - E. Guinea and AU President
The 17th Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) is scheduled to take place from 23 June to 1st July 2011 in Malabo, Republic of Equatorial Guinea, under the theme: “Accelerating Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Development”.
The 17th Ordinary Session of the Summit of the African Union will officially kick off on Thursday 23 June 2011, with the 22nd Ordinary Session of the Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC), according to the African Union Commission, the AUC on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Ambassadors who form the PRC have already started deliberating the agenda of the Summit at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In Malabo, the Ambassadors of the AU Member States meeting at their 22nd Ordinary Session, will for two days (23-24 June 2011) share views on a number of issues including: Consideration of the report of the PRC sub-committees such as the report of the advisory sub-Committee on administrative, budgetary and financial matters on the draft budget for 2012 and on the status of implementation of the new AU staff regulations and rules, amongst others.

China must arrest Sudanese President - Demands Amnesty


Bashir
The Chinese government should immediately withdraw its invitation to Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir, and arrest him if he travels to Beijing, Amnesty International said on June 17.
Omar Al-Bashir is due to meet Chinese President Hu Jintao and other high-ranking officials as part of a visit from 27-30 June
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued two arrest warrants for Omar Al-Bashir for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur. The warrants, issued in 2009 and 2010, charge him with criminal responsibility on 10 counts, including murder, extermination, forcible transfer of population, torture and rape.

Breaking News: Africell’s 3G still in limbo

Still in the dark is Africell’s 3G, whose hype has been in the air ever since the company disclosed almost a year or more ago that it was going to bring to the doorstep of Gambians a third generation technology of a standard “3G with a difference” that never was in The Gambia’s GSM industry. As the so-called leading GSM company that is known for its customer mesmerizing ability, when Africell made such a declaration of bringing into The Gambia a 3G with a difference, the whole nation bought it all. However, the 3G with a difference promised by Africell to have been on steam by now is yet to see the light of day.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

IMF/WB: Helping countries avoid expensive financial mistakes


Central Bank of Gambia (pix-Daily Observer)
The current global financial crises is particularly challenging for debt managers. The volatile and changing outlook for debt markets, creditors, and donors highlights the importance of developing and maintaining a diverse range of financing sources.
It is in this vein that the West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM), the World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) jointly hold a week-long course on “Medium Term Debt Strategy (MTDS)” for Anglophone West Africa in Banjul, The Gambia from June 13-17, 2011.

GHANA: Respect for free expression, privacy rights assured


Ghana Minister for Communications, Haruna Iddrisu
The fear of insecurity that your calls or conversation are being monitored or recorded by telecom operators or the National Security in Ghana should be a thing of the past, according to Stephen Odoi-Larbi, the parliamentary correspondent of the Accra-based Ghanaian Chronicle.
In his parliamentary report on June 9, Mr. Odoi-Larbi noted the Minister for Communications, Haruna Iddrisu, has given the assurance that there is no law in the country’s statue books that allows telecom operators, individuals, or National Security to record or tap into peoples’ conversations.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Former Voice Newspaper Poetry Columnist Found Dead Hanging in His House


The Nigerian Enahoro family in The Gambia is in shock after one of their own, Sunday Enahoro was found death hanging in his house at Bakoteh-Tipper Garage, West of the Capital, Banjul on Saturday June 11.

State House Spokesperson dismissed


The Director of Press and Public Relations at the Office of the President, Ms Fatou Camara, has been dismissed.
Ms Camara, the TV Presenter of “Fatou Show”, was shown the exit doors of the high office in Banjul on Monday June 13, in less than three months after she was appointed by President Yahya Jammeh.
As usual, reasons for the removal of top government officials are not made available to the public; hence, The North Bank Evening Standard cannot establish the cause of the decision.
She had earlier on worked as a Protocol/Military Liaison Assistant to the American Ambassador for three years at the United States Embassy in Banjul.

High Court to hear Dr. Janneh’s treason charges


Dr Janneh
The lower court in Banjul, presided by Magistrate Alagbe Taiwo Ade has moved the treason trial against former Gambian minister Dr. Amadou Scattred Janneh and three others to the High Court.
Upon reviewing the charge sheet, the court holds firmly the view that it lacks the jurisdiction to preside over treason charges in accordance with Section 5 Sub-section A of the Criminal Procedure Code, Magistrate Taiwo said, before ordering for their remand at Mile II, the State’s Central Prison.

GTA Director removed and deployed to the foreign affairs


Ms Binta Jobe
Sources closed to Gambia Tourism authority (GTA) has informed The Voice newspaper that the Director of GTA Binta Jobe has been remove with effect from Tuesday 14th June 2011 and deployed to the Foreign Affairs Ministry.
When this was corroborated to her, she said: “Yes it’s true”, noting that it is an executive directive. According to her, she will be taking up an overseas mission, but could not specify to which country and in what area.
“I am happy and it is an honor to be given this top job,” she said.
Binta Jobe joined the tourism industry in 2001 as a Personal Secretary to the GTA up to the time of her redeployment to the office of the foreign affairs ministry. She served as the managing director of the Gambia tourism authority. 

NATIONAL NEWS


 Investment outlook for Gambia is positive - Says DPS Trade

More news…..
  • Investment outlook for Gambia is positive - Says DPS Trade
  • Fisheries Director exhorts for the right policies, strategies and programmes  
  • Gamblood commends voluntary blood donors
  • JDRS Mission for the education sector in progress
  • GADHOH reiterates the need to break communication barriers
  • Students Are Encouraged To Pursue Higher Education
  • CRS distributes over 20, 000 insecticide treated bed nets
  • NCAC validates ‘strategic plan’ for 2011-2015
  • Disaster Agency engage policy-makers in mainstreaming risk-reduction

LEGAL AFFAIRS


 Olympic Officials Exonerated On Theft Charges

More news....
·        Olympic Officials Exonerated On Theft Charges
·        3 State Agents Exonerated, 2 Faces Murder Charges
  • Five Senegambians sentence to a fine or faces jail terms

Sports: Ministry Determined To Settle Deadlock Over Scorpions Unpaid Match Bonuses

  • SJAG 2010 Awards: Senegal stars Diouf and Camara to attend
  • Sports Ministry Vows To Resolve Tug of War Over Scorpions Unpaid Match Bonuses

Sports Ministry Determined To Settle Deadlock Over Scorpions Unpaid Match Bonuses
The Ministry of Youth and Sports in Banjul was quick to call a press conference on June 13 to counter the one held by the Senior National Football Team, the Scorpions two days earlier.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

AfDB projects a fall in GDP due to sociopolitical crises


AfDB president Donald Kaberuka spells out the positive message underpinning the bank's first aid effectiveness review. Photograph: Francisco Leong/AFP/Getty Images
Africa’s recovery from the global economic and financial crisis began in 2010 and has been driven by higher domestic demand, stronger export revenues, and increased inflows of foreign direct investment, remittances, and official development assistance, says the African Development Bank, AfDB 2010 Report.

Truckers, others remain vulnerable to HIV infection


For years research has pointed to the fact that truck drivers and others transport workers remain disproportionately vulnerable to HIV infection.
This is largely due to transient and often solitary nature of their work, according to the 2008 UNAIDS Annual Report.
The Report, “Towards Universal Access”, highlighted that in 2008, the World Food Programme (WFP) embarked on an innovative initiative designed to ensure that transport personnel are made aware of the risk and the vulnerabilities of life on the road.

Banjul: Protecting ‘vulnerable children on the move’


Pix by childrenofafrica.com - raising funds to support vulnerable children

BANJUL COURTS: West Africans to know fate on June 13


Musa Susso: "no cause to tell lies against anyone" 

AFRICA: Converting borders ‘from barriers to bridges’


More stories
·         AU observe 1st ‘African Border Day’
·         Special Court indicts five for contempt, alleges interference with witnesses
·         Senegal: IMF Completes 1st Review Under Policy Support Instrument 
·         German Westerwelle welcomes tougher sanctions against Libya
·         Review: Implementation of 2010 annual work plan on euro 55 million support programme
·         Dr. Ping meets AUHLIP Team, discusses Abyei 
·         Making Sense of Libya
·         Film Festival Presents 148 African movies
·         ICAP completes acquisition of ‘moving pictures film and TV’
·         Amnesty exhort SADC to deal rights abuses to ensure peaceful Zimbabwe-elections
·         Faith communities confronts unethical ‘scramble for Africa’s carbon space’
·         Denying Terrorists Safe Havens

Friday, June 10, 2011

Post-harvest losses in sub-Saharan Africa estimated at $4 billion

 A new report by the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) and the World Bank has estimated the value of post-harvest grain losses in sub-Saharan Africa at around $4 billion a year.
The report, “Missing Food: The Case of Postharvest Grain Losses in Sub-Saharan Africa” released on May 31, is produced in collaboration with the United Kingdom’s Natural Resources Institute.
Investing in post-harvest technologies to reduce food losses could significantly increase the food supply in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the new report as technical experts from around the region meet to discuss the issue.

MEDIA WATCH……


1.      Gambia ALERT: Dismissed State TV journalist arrested, charged for false information
2.     MFWA praises President Goodluck Jonathan for signing the FOI into law
3.     Cote d’ Ivoire ALERT: Pro-Gbagbo journalist kidnapped, released
4. Liberia ALERT: Police detain radio journalist, reportedly attack him 

AT THE COURTS.......


  • City Court rejects ‘jurisdiction claims’ in economic crimes trial 
  • Trial of NAPSA executive adjourned
  • Chinese national denies killing a Jeshwang resident
  • Senior agriculture officials’ theft trial hangs, Investigations involved many government institutions 
  • Charges against Pristine to be settled out of Court    
  • GAMCOTRAP: June 15 set for ruling on ‘no case to answer’

ON THE HOME FRONT......


  1.  Governments must make the well-being and rights of children ‘an integral part’ of their development agenda
  2. National laws and policies checked against cultural rights…
  3. Gambia committed to the rights and welfare of children
  4. GTTI holds ECOWAS course in building trade curriculum
  5. Prison Fellowship launch rehabilitation project    
  6. NDMA recognises the crucial role non-State Actors can play in disaster risk-reduction
  7. Forestry Director links a healthy economy to a healthy forest cover  
  8. Nasir Senior Secondary School graduates 95

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

IMF remain concerned over Gambia’s heavy debt burden


David Dunn Meeting with Government officials (Pix - Daily Observer)
As usual, the International Monetary Fund said The Gambian economy continues to perform well, coming off another strong year for agriculture, particularly in rice and groundnut production.
However, tourism has remained suppressed, owing to lingering effects of the economic slowdown in key European markets, but is expected to pickup later in the year.
With an overall gross domestic product, GDP (the total value of goods and services that the country produces in a year) projected to grow by about 5½ percent in real terms in 2011; the annual inflation would remain moderately elevated at about six percent, reflecting food and fuel price pressures.
An IMF mission to the country from May 18–31, 2011 headed by Mr. David Dunn also projected that the longer-term economic outlook is generally positive, although The Gambia’s “heavy debt burden” remains a concern.

Drug Agency Spokesperson presents 'Gambia’s drug habit' during a crime prevention course


Cocaine bust, estimated to worth $1 billion, June 2010, Banjul.
The Public Relation Officer National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDEA) Mr. Abdoulie Ceesay has said that the Narcotic Court in Banjul is overburdened with a backlog of drug cases, while the prison is filled-up with drug inmates and trial prisoners.
One of the main objectives of imprisonment is to reform and rehabilitate offenders to become better persons in society after serving their jail terms, however, Mr. Ceesay admitted that most of the time, this objective may be defeated.
He was presenting a paper on “The Impact of Drug Abuse in The Gambia” during a-May 26 training for 30 participants on “peace building and crime prevention”. The training was organised by the Youth Crime Watch in cooperation with the US embassy in Banjul, The Gambia.

UDP Leader: Government's Resource Control ‘Weak’


Darboe, UDP Candidate
In part 2 of an interview with our Judicial Correspondent Sulayman Ceesay, Mr. Ousainou Darboe; the United Democratic Party (UDP) leader stressed that the physical control of Government’s resources in The Gambia is weak and there is so much wastage.
“No attention is paid to areas that will maximize the economic growth of the country,” he argues. 
“Everyday we are doing things that are making our economy to decline and it is unforgivable that in a poverty stricken country like Gambia we are engaging in vanity. It is extremely unforgivable to see government resources been utilized for self and personal matters. Look at all these festivals, how many festival have you heard in the last twelve months,” Darboe said.

ALERT: JOURNALIST DODOU SANNEH IN COURT


Foroyaa – Dodou Sanneh, a journalist who worked for the state owned Gambia Radio and Television services appeared before Magistrate Manyima Bojang of Banjul Magistrates’ Court, on Monday, 30 May 2011, charged with giving false information to a public officer.
Mr Sanneh was dismissed in 2006 at the height of the presidential election campaign while he assigned to cover the campaign of an opposition party. He was reinstated but later dismissed again.

NATIONAL AFFAIRS…



  • Police investigates URR murder allegation
  • Poor condition of Latrikunda market affecting sales
  • NYSS: Ex-Corps in Mali on electrical installation course
  • Youth training on crime prevention, peace building ends
  • Berending Senior School graduates first batch
  • GFA beach soccer coaching course ends

AT THE COURTS…


  • ‘Gambians are lazy black monkeys’
  • Cassamace rebel claims being robbed by Gambia Army
  • Personnel of police intervention unit sentence to death
  • Lower court lacks jurisdiction to try economic crime suspect
  • GNOC trial: No reply by prosecution on ‘no case to answer’
  • Bakau resident sentenced to death
  • Badjie’s robbery trial hold-back

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Poor condition of Latrikunda market affecting sales


Toilet in bad state
The vendors at Latrikunda Market on Tuesday, May 31, 2011 told The Voice newspaper that the bad odor of the toilet at the market is affecting their sales since it is driving away buyers.
The bad odor coming out of the toilet is making life in the market unbearable and causing some financial losses to them, but a member of the market committee said they are doing everything possible to solve the problem.

AFRICAN NEWS…


  • Grain losses in sub-Saharan Africa could total $4 billion - FAO/WB report
  • ICC: Weekly summary of the proceedings (23-27 May 2011) in the case of The Prosecutor v. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo
  • IOM Survey reveals Egyptians want to migrate mainly due to unemployment
  • Sudanese Parties Sign Agreement on Border Security
  • East African Legislative Assembly calls for joint efforts in the protection of human rights
  • G8 Foreign Ministers’ Condemn military action in Sudan
  • AUC-EC College-to-College Meeting to Discuss Consolidating Growth and Democracy
  • East African Legislative Assembly Ends Business Thursday

Media Watch…


BB Baldeh, WCR
Gambia UPDATE: Court exonerates sports presenter in criminal suit
The Kanifing District Magistrate Court on May 24, 2011 exonerated Bakary B. Baldeh, a sports producer and presenter of West Coast Radio, a privately-owned FM station, on a criminal charge allegedly brought against him and four others, by Ebrima Jawara, president of the Gambia Golfers Association, and the son of former President, Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Gambians Abroad Request Cost Estimate for Registration

Mr Saihou Mballow MDD (Pix by Senegambia News)
Diaspora Gambians have requested the Gambia’s electoral body to submit cost estimate for possible extending of voter registration to Gambians abroad.
The request came on the heels of recent communication between the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and the U.S. based Gambian Movement for Democracy and Development.
“Mr [IEC] Chairman, we would like to inform you that after receiving your letter, we made some consultations with other sister Gambian organisations, concerned Gambians and democratic institutions who expressed willingness to work with the IEC in meeting the cost of registering qualified overseas Gambians in countries such as Senegal, UK, USA, Sweden and Ghana among others,” the movement said in a letter sent to IEC.

From Refugee to Role Model

Omar Bah is a refugee from Gambia. While in Gambia, he worked as a journalist for a local newspaper. Omar wrote about current issues of human rights and corruption. After seven years at his job he was declared “wanted” and had to escape. Since most of his colleagues had been killed, he feared losing his life. Omar left his family, including his wife of two months and exiled to Ghana for temporary safety. In May 2007, Omar arrive at his new home in Providence, Rhode Island.
Arriving to a “new world” Omar felt alone and lost, but was determined to start a new life. Social media sites such as Skype and Face book have been a great help in allowing him to remaining in contact with his family and friends who still live in Gambia.
Landing a job with The Rhode Island Housing and Mortgage Finance Corporation, Omar found himself just across the street from the URI Feinstein Providence Campus. He would frequently notice advertisements for information sessions and various programs offered.

Cheeky Quotes