Saturday, February 26, 2011

Vaccine to fight pneumonia in children in developing countries lunched in Kenya

The pneumococcal vaccines tailored for the needs of children in developing countries was introduced in Gambia in 2009

Image by
Kenya, with the support of the GAVI Alliance is set to roll out pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) routinely throughout all health facilities with the aim of saving lives of thousands of infants from death and illness due to pneumococcal disease.
The ceremonial shots against pneumococcal diseases (mainly consisting of pneumonia and meningitis) took place on Monday February, 14 when Kenya marks the global roll-out of vaccines targeting world’s biggest killer of children - pneumonia.
“Introducing the new pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in developing countries is a critical step that can prevent millions of bouts of illness and countless deaths in children from the terrible disease that pneumonia is”, said Helen Evans, Interim CEO of GAVI Alliance at a global media briefing on Friday in Geneva.

Rise in tariffs for water and electricity to affect households

NAWEC Head Office
After the National Water and Electricity Company’s (NAWEC) propose tariff increment for electricity, water and sewage by 36, 26 and 24 percent received widespread disapproval from the public at a public hearing on February 12, 2011.
The Voice Newspaper’s Sulayman Ceesay reports on the views expressed by people who do not have the chance to be at the hearing organised by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA).
The regulatory body is expected to pass a decision on whether to approve or disapprove of the proposal following the hearing, however, a vox-pop conducted by our reporter have seen people expressing concerns that the increase in water and electricity tariffs is likely to affect many households in The Gambia as majority of the population are already finding it difficult to make do with current tariffs.  

Court fines newspaper for defaming former minister

A civil court in Liberia on February 15, 2011 ordered the privately-owned Frontpage Africa newspaper to pay an outrageous US$ 1. 5 million fine in a 2009 defamation suit brought against them by the former Minister of Agriculture, Chris Toe.
The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)’s correspondent reported that although the fines fell short of the 2 million US dollars that Toe requested, it is enough to have a chilling effect on  the newspaper  whose capital investment is less than 10,000US$.

Taranga FM resumes broadcasting after 32 days off air

Proprietor Ismaila Sisay (Pix by Gambia Affairs
Taranga FM, a privately-owned local language radio station which was shut down on January 13, 2011, has reopened after the Gambian authorities issued a warning to the station’s management to stop reviewing what they described as “opposition” newspapers.
Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)’s sources reported that the station is now back on air without its popular “Xibari besbi”, news and current affairs programme that reviewed newspapers in the Wolof language for most uneducated Gambians.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Gambia Questions AU's Silence on North Africa Crises

          Says Gaddafi is 'Racist and Anti-African'
Colonel Gaddafi, Libyan Leader

The Government of The Gambia said it is a big surprise but a shocking reality that in all the happenings, beginning with the crisis in Tunisia, to that of Egypt, and now Libya, the Leadership of the African Union (AU) neither made a Statement nor took action despite the fact that these were uprisings affecting member States of the AU.
In a statement read by Dr Njogu Bah, Secretary General and Head of the Civil Service on State TV, GRTS on Thursday February 24, he said it is The Gambia Government’s expectation that the least that the AU could have done is to convene an extraordinary meeting to discuss how “we as Africans can handle the situations in these countries and avert bloodshed and loss of lives.” Read on.............

SLAJ Denounces Threat to Use Criminal Libel Law

PRESS RELEASE  Date: 24 February 2011

SLAJ Condemns AG’s implied threat to use Criminal Libel Law

Freetown: The Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) in an Extraordinary General Meeting on Thursday 24 February 2011 at the SLAJ Headquarters in Freetown expressed grave concern over the threat by the Attorney General to invoke provisions of the 1965 Public Order Act against the Awareness Times Newspaper.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Gambia Marks 46th Independence Anniversary in Bits and Pieces

President Jammeh
“A nation that is united because of the patriotism of her citizens is a nation that will always succeed in this 21st Century and beyond. United by purpose patriotism and faith, our beloved motherland, The Gambia will soon become an economic super power as we are endowed with all what is needed to propel this nation into greater prosperity.”
These are the words of The Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh on the occasion of the country’s 46th Independence Anniversary on February 18, 2011. This year, the anniversary is celebrated in bits and pieces and the president’s statement is being read on his behalf by various Council and Regional Administrative heads.

African Government Criminalizing Investigative Reporting

Ivory Coast's President and 2010 presidential candidate Laurent Gbagbo talks to the press. (AFP Photo/Issouf Sanogo)
Global and regional institutions with a responsibility to guard press freedom are largely failing to fulfill their mandate as journalists worldwide continue to face threats, imprisonment, intimidation, and killings, according to Attacks on the Press, a yearly survey released today by the Committee to Protect Journalists.

“While international law guarantees the right to free expression, journalists cannot count on a robust defense of those rights,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. “The recent unprecedented repression and persecution of journalists in Egypt, for example, provides an important opportunity for global and regional institutions to speak and act forcefully in defense of a free press.”

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

National Assembly Holds High Level Aid Confab

Legislature’s Development and Investment Plan pegged at $26m  
President Jammeh
A high-level aid conference to mobilize resources and solicit donor support for the successful implementation of the Strategic Development and Investment Plan (SDIP) 2010-2014 has ended in The Gambian capital, Banjul, yesterday.
The one-day event organised by the National Assembly of The Gambia in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is geared towards the Legislature’s continuous commitment to attain its vision “to be publicly perceived as an independent and democratic legislature serving the people of the Republic of The Gambia.”
“Today’s meeting is intended to deepen collaboration with you in strengthening the institutional and governance capacities of the National Assembly,” the Gambian President H.E. Yahya Jammeh told donors at the conference on Wednesday Feb. 16 in a statement read on his behalf by Vice President Dr. Isatou Njie-Saidy.

It is of no use having outdated laws on our statute book

Law reflects the current status quo or political, cultural and socio-economic tempo of an independent sovereign state or society, the Chairman of the Law Reform Commission Dr Henry D. R. Carrol has said.
“Law is not promulgated or enacted in a vacuum. Society is dynamic and not static; it is constantly undergoing a metamorphosis, for good or for evil.” He made this statement at the Official Launching of the Revised Laws of The Gambia at the Ministry of Justice in Banjul on Feb. 11, 2011.

Narcotic Officer testify in $1 billion cocaine trial

Yuspha Jatta, a narcotic officer attached to the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDEA) in Kanifing has opened his testimony in the ongoing $1 billion cocaine trial involving nine foreign nationals at the Magistrate Court in Banjul, The Gambia.
Presided by Magistrate Alagbe Taiwo Ade, on Feb. 15, 2011, Yuspha Jatta said he recognised all the accused persons and recalled that on May 15, 2010, he was instructed by his authorities to join the team of investigation together with Chief Superintendent Pa Ebou Jallow.

GNOC secured over D2 million Japanese grant

The Gambia National Olympic Committee (GNOC) in collaboration with the Japanese Embassy through APL Japan on Monday Feb. 14, 2011 signed a grant agreement for the implementation of the “improvement of sports facilities for youth development project” in the Kanifing Municipal Area.
The event also witnessed the singing of two other projects under the Japanese Grant, “the construction of SOS Children’s Village Bakoteh Multi-purpose Centre (49,067 Euro) and the Project for the Improvement of Agriculture Environment (70, 803 Euro) under the auspices of Gambia is Good Concern Universal.

Defeated GNOC Presidential Candidate Petitions IEC, Sports Ministry…

Bax Touray (pix by Gambiasports)
The defeated presidential nominee of the Gambia National Olympic Committee (GNOC), Mr. Abdoulie Bax Touray and his supporters has petitioned the Independent Electoral Commission and The Sport Ministry, challenging the manner in which the February 12, 2011 elections was conducted.
Touray’s camp whose boycott of the polls on Saturday, had little or no effect on the elections process, came along with a petition to the GNOC Complex on Mile 7 in Kanifing. “And a boycott was inevitable.” In the event, the General Body of the GNOC voted 26-0 to elect Alhagie Momodou Dibba as President, replacing the erstwhile Chief of Defence Staff of The Gambia Armed Forces Lt Gen Langtombong Tamba who was arrested, charged to court and convicted of plotting a coup in 2009.

Donors’ Pledge to support NA’s development plan

Location of Old National Assembly in Banjul
The first ever National Assembly donors’ roundtable conference to mobilize resources and solicit donor support for the successful implementation of the Strategic Development and Investment Plan (SDIP) 2010-2014 has ended with substantial pledges from local and international donors, at the Kairaba Beach Hotel on February 16, 2011.
The pledges include private investors, central and local government institutions, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Civil Societies and individual contributions. The Donors Conference organised by the country Legislative arm of government is funded by the United Nation Development Program (UNDP) in The Gambia.

GNOC elects Alhagie Momodou Dibba as President

Candidate Abdoulie Bax Touray storms out of Elections
Dibba (pix gambiasports)
The General Body of The Gambia National Olympic Committee (GNOC) on Saturday voted 26-0 to fill the position of president which has been vacant since November 2009, when former President Lt Gen Langtombong Tamba was arrested, charged to court and convicted of plotting a coup.
Out of a possible 47 votes, eight sporting associations having double votes, and 10 sporting associations and individuals with single votes voted for Alhagie Momodou Dibba, giving him a total of 26 votes. The remaining 21, including sporting associations with double and single votes and individual voters boycotted the polls, leaving presidential hopeful Abdoulie Bax Touray with zero votes.

Public does not subscribe to NAWEC’s proposed tariffs increase

NAWEC Head Office
Members of the public, who attended a public hearing on the National Water and Electricity Company’s (NAWEC) proposed tariff review for the year 2010/11 has disapproved of any attempted increase on charges on electricity, water and sewage.
The Company was hoping to increase the tariffs for electricity, water and sewage by 36, 26 and 24 percent respectively. The hearing was organised by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) at the Father Farrell Memorial Hall, Westfield, on 12th February, 2011.

CRR, URR Athletics Zonal Championships Turns Bloody

Gambian Athlete
Reports reaching The Voice Newspaper has it the Inter School Zonal Athletic Championship involving Senior Secondary Schools in the Central River Region (CRR) and the Upper River Region (URR) turned bloody after a fracas erupted between the host Armitage and Bansang.
Sources said “the competition stated well but could not end well due to a fracas between Armitage and Bansang.” Many students were reported to have been injured and some others were still admitted at Bansang Hospital at the time of going to press.

Access to justice ends not with the building of new courts

VP Njie-Saidy
Gambia’s Vice President and Minister of Women Affairs Dr. Isatou Njie-Saidy has said that access to justice dose not ends with the construction of new court buildings or the establishment of institution.
“It requires that the law on which the regulation of our interpersonal relationship and the dispensation of justice are based, are accessible to all,” she said.
She was speaking on behalf of President Yahya Jammeh during the official launch of the 2009 Revised Edition of the Laws of The Gambia at the Ministry of Justice on Marina Parade in Banjul on Friday February 11, 2011.

Berending’s alleged Farafenni Camp Attacker opens defence

Mr. Abdoulie Sonko, a native of Niumi Berending has opened his defence in the treason trial before Justice Emanuel Amadi at the High Court in Banjul on February 9, 2011.
Mr. Sonko is alleged to have been involved in the 1996 fatal Farafenni Army Camp attack and he is charged with Three Counts of Treason and Six Counts of Murder.
Charges for which may carry a death penalty if found guilty.
On Wednesday, Mr. Sonko told the Court that before, he lived in Niumi Berending, but now lives at the State’s Central Prison, Mile II. The former school teacher and a Conductor of the Gambia Public Transportation Company (GPTC) said he was in Ivory Coast in 1991 where he had owned a tea-shop.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Finance Ministry, Central Bank Violates Regulation Act

The Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs and the Central Bank of The Gambia (CBG) have been known to have violated Section 229 of the Financial Instruction Regulation Act, The Voice Newspaper can reveal.
The Act, approved by the National Assembly of The Gambia to regulate government financial practice, stated in Section 229 that “Government bank account must not be overdrawn”.
However, a recent Report, presented by the Permanent Secretary (1) at the Ministry of Finance Mr. Mod Secka, indicated that the statement of cash and bank balances in the financial statements shows that the government had 27 overdrawn bank accounts on 31st December 2005 totaling D415 million and 22 overdrawn accounts on 31st December 2006 totaling D153 million.

Press release: Countdown to the GNOC Presidential Election

A M Dibba
The countdown to the first credible GNOC presidential election is slated for 12th February 2011. I am confident that the eligible voters have already made their choice of candidate in the interest of sports development within The Gambia Olympic movement. The majority of sporting associations and individual sport personalities want to see a positive change after 21 years in the doldrums. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

President Obama Plans to Recognize Southern Sudan

On behalf of the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Southern Sudan for a successful and inspiring referendum in which an overwhelmingly majority of voters chose independence, US President Barack Obama said on February 8, 2011.
“I am therefore pleased to announce the intention of the United States to formally recognize Southern Sudan as a sovereign, independent state in July 2011,” he said.
According to him, after decades of conflict, the images of millions of southern Sudanese voters deciding their own future was an inspiration to the world and another step forward in Africa’s long journey toward justice and democracy. 

British High Commission to close visa section due to financial shortfall

The British High Commission in Banjul has announced that its visa section will be closed for the receipt of new application on February 17, 2011, until it reopens for business as normal on Thursday 22 February 2011.
The move was taken in conjunction with the United Kingdom Border Agency, Gambian journalists were told at a press conference at the High Commission’s Conference Hall in Fajara on February 4, 2011.
“We are changing our visa application process because the government of UK wants to make more savings, as we are currently facing a budget deficiency, as a result our government has called on all its departments to make savings for the betterment of our citizens,” Mr. Ian Underhill, Regional Entry Clearance Manager said.
The decision to close the visa section in Banjul was communicated to us by the UK government, he said, however, he was quick to say that the High Commission will remain open for business and their staff will continue their daily official duties.

Final Arguments in Taylor’s trial stumped

The final arguments in the trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor kicks-off in a confusing state on February 8, and are expected to end on February 11, in The Hague.
Yesterday, Taylor’s counsel Courtney Griffiths walked out of court after judges refused to accept his final written brief when tried to submit it to the court 20 days after the deadline.

Nothing has moved since the mock-voter registration

IEC Chairman
The Sales Director of ZETES PASS Thierry Delteil Mc Williams has told The Voice that nothing has moved since his last visit to The Gambia in January 2010, during which time his company was vying for a contractual seal with Gambia’s election body. 
The Belgium-based company specializes in the provision of ID Cards, Voter Cards or Licenses to Governments in Africa, the Middle East, South America and other parts of the world.
In January 2010, ZETES PASS together with a Canada-based company, CODE  Incorporated Digital Registration Solution were in Banjul to present their credentials and to conduct a mock-voter registration exercise, with a view to securing a contract with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) of The Gambia to register voters for the 2011 General Elections.
However, in an email to The Voice Newspaper, ZETES PASS’s Sales Director Government ID Business Africa and the Middle East, Thierry Delteil Mc Williams said “since our last visit to Gambia in January 2010, nothing has moved.” “We are still expecting some decision from the Independent Electoral Commission of The Gambia,” he said.

Pearson announces its presence in The Gambia

Minister Fatou Lamin Faye
Pearson Education, a printing and publishing firm which is part of a company including highly recognised global publishing brands such as Longman, Heinemann, Ginn, Penguin among others, has extend its services to The Gambia.
Pearson celebrated its new and existing partnership in Banjul on February 3, 2011 at the Sheraton Hotel Resort and Spa, Brufut Heights, The Gambia. The event followed a successful completion of a contract to print and publish the English and Mathematics Text Books of Grade Seven to Nine for the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE).

Yolocamba: ‘I don’t want the accused to be convicted’

The accused persons
The Executive Director of Yolocamba Solidaridad, a Madrid-based non-governmental organisation (NGO), Ms Begonballes Teros Sanchez maintained that she did not sue the accused persons to court.
On Feb. 3, Ms Sanchez was being cross-examined by Lawyer Amie Bensouda in the theft case involving Dr. Isatou Touray and Mrs. Amie Bojang Sissoho (executive director and programme manager) of the Gambia committee against harmful traditional practices (GAMCOTRAP) at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court presided by Alagbe Taiwo Ade.

City of Joy, a revolutionary new center for Women Survivors of Gender Violence

V-Day and the Fondation Panzi (DRC), with support from UNICEF, announce on February 4, the opening of City of Joy, a revolutionary new community for women survivors of gender violence in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
City of Joy will provide up to 180 Congolese women a year with an opportunity to benefit from group therapy; self-defense training; comprehensive sexuality education (covering HIV/AIDS, family planning); economic empowerment; storytelling; dance; theater; ecology and horticulture.
Created from their vision, Congolese women will run, operate and direct City of Joy themselves. City of Joy marks the next chapter in V-Day’s ongoing campaign, STOP RAPING OUR GREATEST RESOURCE: Power to the Women and Girls of the DRC. It will provide a powerful new platform for Congolese women to turn their pain to power, restore their sense of agency over their lives, and become leaders who will steer Eastern Congo’s destiny towards peace.

Frattini personally monitoring the situation of Italian journalists in Cairo

“I am personally monitoring the situation of Italian journalists in Egypt, who are dutifully performing the task of keeping the Italian public informed on what’s happening”.
This was Minister for Foreign Affairs Franco Frattini’s statement, on February 4, underscoring that “through its Crisis Unit and Embassy in Cairo, the Ministry is maintaining contact with the members of the press present in the Egyptian capital”.

Transparency International condemns attacks on journalists, civil society and citizens in Egypt

Transparency International (TI), the global anti-corruption organisation, condemns the attacks on journalists, civil society and peaceful protestors in Egypt and calls on the government to stop the violence and release all those arrested on February 4.
Reports from the Committee for the Protection of Journalists show that 30 journalists and their support staff from both Egyptian and international news organisations have been detained, attacked or had their equipment confiscated in the past 48 hours.
In addition, there are reports that a number of civil society activists have been arrested following a raid on the Hisham Mubarak Centre for Human Rights, the Egyptian Centre for Political and Social Rights and the Egyptian Centre for Housing Rights.
With the death toll rising and the number of injured mounting, TI calls on the government of Egypt to protect all citizens who are exercising their basic human rights to free expression, and to stop the violence and intimidation.
TI brings people together in a powerful worldwide coalition to end the devastating impact of corruption on men, women and children around the world. TI’s mission is to create change towards a world free of corruption. Source: APO

AUC, World Bank looks at ways to promote African economic development

An orientation meeting which also sought ways to encourage African economic growth took place at the AU Commission on Thursday 3 February, between AUC Deputy Chairperson Mr Erastus Mwencha and a delegation from the World Bank led by Ms Marilou Jane D. Uy, the Sector Director for Financial and Private Sector Development, Africa region.
The World Bank Team, which also comprised Dr Yousufa Crookes, the bank’s Regional Integration Office Director based in Addis Ababa and Mr Michel Noel, a lead financial specialist in the East and Southern African Region was keen to discuss three focus areas; that is competitiveness, financial sector and gender entrepreneurship.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Gambia UPDATE: Jailed Human rights defender released and deported

February 1, 2011

Edwin Nebolisa Kwakaeme, a Gambia-based Nigerian human rights defender, who was jailed for supposedly giving “false information” to the office of President Yahya Jammeh in 2010, was on January 14, 2011 released and deported to his native Nigeria.

The Banjul Magistrate’s Court on September 6, 2010 sentenced Kwakaeme, the programme director of African in Democracy and Good Governance, human rights NGO, to a mandatory six-month imprisonment with hard labour and indefinitely suspended his organisation. He was ordered to surrender all documents of the organisation in his possession to the court and pay a fine of 10, 000dalasis (about US$ 330).

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

IOC Issues Warning Ahead Of GNOC Elections

The Olympic body had earlier accused the Sport Ministry of interfering in the affairs of the GNOC
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has issued a stern warning that it will neither tolerate any outside interference in the election process nor in the Gambia National Olympic Committee’s (GNOC) internal affairs and operations.
The crisis surrounding the GNOC Presidential Elections is due to end on Feb.12, 2011, when sporting delegates take to the polls to elect a president.
However, IOC said the election process must be conducted exclusively under the jurisdiction the GNOC and in particular under the leadership of Ms Beatrice Allen, as NOC Acting President, according to the process that was established by the GNOC and with the list of voting members endorsed GNOC in accordance GNOC’s Constitution and the Olympic Charter.

Editorial: Solving the problems of Africa

The newly elected chairman of the African Union (AU), President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea, has urged his fellow Africans to take the lead in resolving the conflicts that have ravaged the continent.

Another food crisis looming - Says a new report

The Evaluation Cooperation Group (ECG), a network of independent evaluation units of multilateral development banks (MDBs), released on February 1, 2011a synthesis evaluation on MDB assistance to Agriculture and Agribusiness.
The evaluative lessons assume special significance today as the world faces the possibility of another food crisis, as food prices rose to a record in December on higher costs for sugar, grain and oilseeds.
The overarching message in this context concerns the urgency to raise productivity all along the agricultural value chain. Growth in agricultural productivity suffered a slowdown as investments by developing countries and donors declined sharply in the last two decades - the bilateral and multilateral assistance alone to the sector fell by some 40 percent by the early 2000s from its peak in the mid-1980s.

Africa should solve its own problems - says new AU Chairman

The new African Union (AU) Chairman and Equatorial Guinea's President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo arrives at the 16th African Union Summit, in Ethiopia (Pix by AllVoices)

The newly elected chairman of the African Union (AU), President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea, has urged his fellow Africans to take the lead in resolving the conflicts that have ravaged the continent.
In his acceptance remarks, President Obiang said, “The crisis of the values of the African culture is reducing the unity and solidarity among our people. Africa must focus on the dialogue for a peaceful negotiated solution to the conflicts that ravage our towns. Africa must assume, more than ever, a leading role not just on the continent but in the international arena.”

Two reporters for northern TV station arrested as “rebels” on arrival in Abidjan

Reporters Without Borders calls for the immediate release of two journalists employed by Télévision Notre Patrie (TVNP) – a pirate TV station based in the northern city of Bouaké that supports the former rebel New Force – who were arrested on their arrival in Abidjan on 28 January.
The two journalists – Sanogo Aboubakar, aka Abou Sanogo, and Kangbé Yayoro Charles Lopez, aka Gnahoré Charly – had wanted to do a series of reports at the Golf Hotel, where presidential contender Alassane Ouattara is holed up. Accused of being rebels, they are being held at the gendarmerie’s criminal investigation department in the Abidjan district of Plateau.

Over 4, 500 delegates to attend 2011 Investing in African Mining Indaba

Her Excellency, Minister Susan Shabangu, Minister of Mineral Resources, of the Republic of South Africa will officially welcome a Global Audience to Mining Indaba XVII on 8 February 2011
Investing in African Mining Indaba is honoured to have Minister Shabangu to address more than 4, 500 confirmed delegates for the upcoming 17th Annual Investing in African Mining Indaba on 7 – 10 February 2011 in Cape Town, South Africa.

Senior Agriculture Officials Charged with theft, remanded

Five senior officials of the Ministry of Agriculture, who are standing trial on charges of theft have been denied bail and the Banjul Magistrates Court presided by Magistrate Alagbe Taiwo Ade has ordered for their remand on February 1, 2011.
The five, Dr. Amadou Sowe Permanent Secretary I, Abdourahman Jobe Permanent Secretary II, Mustapha Jatta Accounts Clerk, Bakary L.O Sonko Deputy Director Cape Point and Momodou Mbye Jabang Project Manager GNAIP Fund are all charged with theft but are being tried separately and are represented counsels Lamin S. Camara and Antouman Gaye.
The have since pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Press Release: UK Border Agency / Change in internal procedures for assessing visas

Mr David Morley was appointed British High Commissioner to the Republic of The Gambia in succession to Mr Phil Sinkinson OBE who retired from the Diplomatic Service.  Mr Morley take up his appointment during May 2011.
The British High Commission in conjunction with the United Kingdom Border Agency wishes to announce that effect from Monday 21 February 2011 the internal processes for assessing visa application will be amended.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Janneh demands attention to global challenges to Africa’s development planning

The UN Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Abdoulie Janneh, last week in Addis Ababa called on Africa’s development practitioners to factor global challenges into the continent’s development planning process.
In an opening remark at the 41st meeting of the new partnership for Africa’s development (NEPAD) Steering Committee which opened on January 24, Janneh said since Africa would be impacted by the undeniable risk of climate change, rising energy and food prices, looming currency crisis and issues of sovereign debts, the continent must remain alert and plan how best to protect its encouraging growth.
Mr. Janneh said the first NEPAD decade had been dedicated to embedding the philosophical framework underpinning the principles of ownership and leadership of African development process by focusing on programme design, partnerships and institutional structures.

Ports Held Jaraaf to a draw in Champions League Opener

GPA Coach Bonu Johnson (Pix by Gambiasports)
Gambia Ports Authority on Saturday held Senegalese side, Jaraaf to a 1-1 draw at the Stade Demba Diop in Dakar during the opening of the 2011 Confederation of African Football (CAF) African Champions League.
Having played a stalemate in the first 45 minutes on January 30, Ports Hatab Badjie put the Gambian side ahead in less than 10 minutes into the second half, having picked up a pass from midfielder Saloum Faal.
However, the Senegalese side trailing of their Gambian opponents ended 6 minutes before full time as Jaraaf’s Ebrima Ndoye brought the game back to square one with a magnificent volley.
Ports heads home with a superior goal in hand with the return led in Banjul slated for a fortnight. Ports will be hoping to progress to the second round of the competition, an attempt former league champions Armed Forces could not achieve in 2009, after being sent-out of the competition by Algeria’s JS Kabilye.

Yearning for ‘prosperity, freedom and peace each day’

Mr Sallah
In what has been the longest ever New Year Message to Gambians, the Secretary General of the People for Democratic Independence and Socialism, Mr. Halifa Sallah, has been chatting in a 19-page statement “on political, social, economical and cultural issues, as well as sub-regional and regional concerns.” Read on….

Compatriots, Pan Africanists, Internationalists, today marks the end of the first decade of the 21st Century and tomorrow the second decade shall begin. It marks the beginning of another beginning. It also marks the eve of an election year for the Sovereign Gambian people. 2011 is not an ordinary year. It is a year of contemplation, stock taking and decision making. Awareness is the key to sound decision making. The APRC is transforming the year to one of patronage and fanfare. PDOIS will transform it into a year of information sharing and awareness raising so that patronage and fanfare will not stifle the sovereign will of the Gambian people to become the architects of their own destiny.

Africa: 'The rise in illegitimate systematic coups'

Africa Map
It is worthy to note that the revolt against the apartheid regime of South Africa and the struggle for independence across the continent was legal, because our countries were being occupied illegally.
However, of late, Africa has seen an upsurge in systematic coups undertaken by civilians in violent protests across North Africa.
Such uprisings have been taken to be legitimate by many especially those people involved and the international community as well. Frankly, it is an open secret that the forceful removal of any government especially an elected government is an illegitimate act.
The international community and regional leaders would not have wasted any time to denounce a military takeover of a government, why because it has been widely deemed illegal.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

NEPAD enters milestone agreement to fight malnutrition in Africa

The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) are proud to announce that they signed a Memorandum of Understanding which will significantly contribute to reduce malnutrition in Africa. The agreement was co-signed today in Addis Ababa during NEPAD’s steering committee between Jay Naidoo, chair of GAIN Board and Ibrahim Mayaki, CEO of NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency.
The aim is to develop a five year joint program which fully integrates nutrition security into the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).

African agriculture needs to transform from subsistence to market systems, says Dione

Josue Dione

If African agriculture is to contribute to the achievement of the MDGs through broad-based growth, food security, employment and poverty reduction, it would need to transform from the current subsistence system to market oriented ones, the Director of Food Security and Sustainable Development (FSSD) of Economic Commission for Africa, Josue Dione, said in Addis Ababa on Tuesday.
Welcoming about 30 experts who began a three-day meeting on the “Development and Promotion of Regional Strategic Food and Agricultural Commodities Value Chains in Africa”, Dione said an effective transformation of agriculture in Africa must first bridge the poor linkages of farmers to input markets and to product markets accompanied with rapid urbanization.

National Assembly frowns on Sport Ministry, NSC

Minister Gomez
The National Assembly Select Committee on Youth and Sport on January 25, 2011 questioned and strictly address the Minister of Youth and Sport, his Permanent Secretary and the Acting Executive Secretary of the National Sport Council (NSC) for what they describe as a disrespect and failure to adhere to the decision of the National Assembly.
On December 30, 2010 the Select Committee issued a Report on its findings on the Gambia National Olympic Committee (GNOC) presidential crises and as well set February 12, 2011 for the presidential elections.
However, the NSC Acting Executive Secretary Abdul Azziz Titao Mendy on Monday January 24 issued a media dispatch, protesting the decision of the Select Committee and also advised the Minister of Youth and Sport to set up a tribunal to look into the matter already resolved by the legislature.