Friday, March 30, 2012

Poor Voter Turnout in Gambia Parliamentary Election: March 29

Many voters during the presidential election lost interest in the MPs election: Pix by Modou S. Joof
The Gambia’s March 29 parliamentary election has been characterised by a low voter turnout across the country.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Textile Dealers want Gov’t to Implement Importation Laws

Textiles at the Makola Market: PIX: Mamadou Edrisa Njie/April2010
Dealers in the Ghanaian local textile industry have made a strong case for government to implement laws regarding the importation of textile products from other countries especially China.

This has become necessary because the dealers claim that the imported textiles were cheap, the local textiles were not selling and that was throwing most of them out of their businesses. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The readers' editor on… defining the line between what is on and off the record

  •, Sunday 25 March 2012 21.30 BST
    • Article history

    • A Guardian writer was recently seeking an interview with a well-known author via email. In his first email the journalist identified himself and explained why he wanted to talk to her. Although she was reluctant at first, there was an email exchange between her and the journalist. Towards the end of the third email the author wrote: "These emails, btw, are confidential… just so's you know."

GYIN-Gambia Secretary attend Global Greens Congress

GYIN-Gambia secretary, Meita Touray
The secretary general, Global Youth Innovation Network (GYIN-Gambia), Ms Meita Touray on March 27 arrived in Dakar to partake in the 2012 Global Greens Congress.

She is invited by the organisers, Global Greens to attend the 3rd Congress, the first held in Africa, in the Senegalese capital, Dakar, from March 29-April 1, 2012. The 1st and 2nd congresses were held in Canberra, Australia, in 2001 and Sao Paolo, Brazil, in 2008.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Attack not promised in Tunis but 100% hopeful: Coach Kuyateh

Brikama United FC
Brikama United coach Sulayman Kuyateh says he does “not promise” to go on the offensive against African champions Esperance in the second leg in Tunis, the capital of Tunisia.

The Gambian league champions held their north Africa opponents in a 1-1 draw at home on March 24, 2012 at the Box Bar mini stadium in Brikama, the capital of the West Coast Region.

Coach Decastel: Draw not bad for Esperance

Shared honour not bad: Esperance coach Michel Decastel
The coach of African champions Esperance, Michel Decastel, admits “draw against Brikama United not bad” as he led his team in their first game of the 2012 second round of the CAF Champions League. 

“We came here to win, one-one is not a bad game but we are not happy with the results,” Decastel told local journalists, adding: “I am hopeful that we will win the next game in Tunis.

Shared honor for Esperance and Brikama United

Esperance held by Brikama United, Photo: by Nfamara Drammeh
African Champions league holders Esperance of Tunisia shared points in a 1-1 draw against Brikama United of The Gambia on March 24, 2012 at the Box Bar mini stadium in Brikama, 38 kilometers south of the capital, Banjul.
The draw is the beginning of Esperance title defence in the second round of the CAF Champions League.

Three minutes into the game, Esperance skipper Wajdi Bouazzi cuts across the middle capitalizing on a defensive error to fire into Brikama’s net (0-1).

Senegal's Wade Concedes Defeat in Presidential Runoff Election

Supporters of Senegalese opposition challenger Macky Sall celebrate their candidates election victory
         Photo: AFP: Supporters of Senegalese opposition challenger 
          Macky Sall celebrate their candidates election victory in Dakar March 25, 2012

Sunday, March 25, 2012

CBG calls for effective financial communication Skills

CBG Governor, Colley
The five-member countries of West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management, WAIFEM, have been exhorted to increase and continue strengthening effective communication and report writing skills in the sub-region.

The call was made by the Governor of the Central Bank (CBG) of the Gambia, Hon. Amadou Colley, on Monday during the beginning of a week long regional course on “Specialized report writing skills and presentation techniques” organised by monetary institute, WAIFEM.
The principal objective of the course is to empower the participants with the capacity to use communication as a powerful tool for job effectiveness.

Governor Colley said the unprecedented changes and transformation in communication, and the need to keep abreast with global developments, compelled WAIFEM to add this course to its programmes since 2002, this time under the theme: “Effective Communication in Today’s Economic and Business Milieu.”

Friday, March 23, 2012

Senegal Election Run-off Sunday

President Wade facing resistance at home, widely expected to loose
Neighbouring Senegal will hold presidential election run-off on Sunday, if all goes as planned.

Incumbent Abdoulie Wade, 85, is pitted against his former prime minister, now arch political rival, Macky Sall, 50.

People loosing confidence in PURA public hearing

Gambians are gradually loosing confidence on the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority’s (PURA) public hearing on tariff review for electricity, water and sewerage.

The country’s sole producer, transmitter and distributor of electricity, water and sewerage, NAWEC had applied to PURA in October 2011 for an upward review of tariffs.

This, it said, is “necessary to address its financial problems” and ward off monetary constraints that can see the company go under.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Slum residents across Africa tell governments: 'People live here'

Thousands of slum dwellers from informal settlements across Africa have rallied together to make their voices heard by housing ministers and heads of state during a week of action organized with Amnesty International and partner organizations.

Rallies and public gatherings in N'Djamena (Chad), Accra (Ghana), Nairobi (Kenya), Port Harcourt (Nigeria), Cairo (Egypt) and Harare (Zimbabwe) will unite thousands of some of the world's poorest and most disadvantaged people in demanding that their governments respect their human rights obligations by not forcibly evicting them from their homes and by providing them with better services such as clean water and schools.

Renegade Soldiers Seize Power In Mali

....are they welcome?

Coup leader Capt Amadou Sanogo imposes a national curfew
Disgruntled soldiers in the Malian capital, Bamako have been reportedly overthrown the elected government of Amadou Toumani Toure on March 22, however, immediate reactions shows their actions are not recognised.

What began on Wednesday as a mutiny "over ill-equipment and insufficient-food" to crush the Tuareg-rebellion in Northern Mali quickly became a takeover of government within 24 hours. Many of the soldiers fighting against the Tuareg has been killed and the military has no hope of winning for now. 

NAWEC’s Financial Woes Increasing

NAWEC Head Office, Kanifing
The Gambia’s sole producer, transmitter and distributor of electricity, water and sewerage, NAWEC, is feared to “go under” amidst growing financial problems.

The state-owed company, which continues to operate on obsolete machines, is financially in jeopardy as the government continues to take loans and accumulating debts. NAWEC owes more than three billion Dalasi to lenders, financial institutions within and outside the country.   

Huge loans have been accumulated in the wake of new projects like water and electricity expansion; generators and rural electrification; network upgrading; maintenance; establishing stand alone power stations in major provincial towns, including the independent power producer (IPP) at Brikama, the administrative capital of the West Coast Region, among others.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Challenges enormous in modern budgeting: Hon Colley

CBG Hon. Amadou Colley
The Gambia’s Central Bank Governor observes that challenges to modern budgeting and planning are enormous, especially with regards to the scarcity of information to facilitate such financial planning.
This is further mixed with poor-integration of the public sector policy making; budgets overruns; non-involvement of communities or beneficiaries in budget preparations; poor budget implementation and inadequate monitoring of programmes, Governor Amadou Colley added.

“It will therefore be appropriate for us to look at some of these challenges and see how best to address them,” he stressed.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Determined to expand knowledge of journalism: Mafugi Ceesay

Mafugi Ceesay, judicial reporter - The Voice
A judicial reporter for The Voice Newspaper in Gambia, Mafugi Ceesay has told The North Bank Evening Standard "I am determined to expand my knowledge of journalism".

Mr. Ceesay was speaking to the publisher  on on March 17, 2012, a few hours before leaving for the Gold Coast of Ghana where he will partake in a two week training on "The Media's Role in Conflict Transformation and Peace Building in West Africa."

The course (March 19-30, 2012), is organised by the International Institute for Journalsm of GIZ - Germany. "I am looking forward to the course and I hope it will help improve my knowledge of conflict reportage and the many factors triggering conflicts in West Africa," said Mr. Ceesay, whose participation is facilitated by the privately-owned newspaper that he works for.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

PIWAMP discuses state of implemented projects

Stakeholders in the Project Management Unit of the Participatory Integrated Watershed Management Project (PIWAMP) on March 16-17, 2012 met to discuss and agree on causes of action for project activities implemented.

PIWAMP, Project Units Coordinators, the Ministry of Agriculture, Global Youth Innovation Network (GYIN-Gambia), Upland and Lowland Field Coordinators, and project beneficiaries gathered for the Annual Consultative Meeting at the Rural Agricultural Farmers Training Centre at Jenoi, Lower River Region of The Gambia. 
The consultative forum affords all stakeholders the opportunity to discuss openly critical issues affecting project implementation and to come to terms on the way forward, explains Mr. Alagie Jatta, a representative of the Deputy Governor of the region, LRR. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Gambia: $7m to alleviate rura domestic woes

Rehabilitated hand-pump at Sitanunku village,WCR/Pic/MSJoof/NOV2011
The African Development Bank (AfDB) on March 16, 2012 said it has signed two grant agreements with the Gambian government totalling seven million United State Dollars.
The grant is meant to improve access to clean drinking water and better sanitation for an estimated 40,000 people in rural areas of the country and cut hygiene-related deaths in those areas, particularly among children.
The African Development Fund, the AfDB’s concessional or ‘soft loan’ arm, is providing USD 5 million and the remaining USD 2 million dollars will be provided by the AfDB’s Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative Trust Fund. The funds will be used to build and rehabilitate drinking water supply and sanitation facilities in rural areas of the Gambia.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

AfDB receives €45m pledges for rural water and sanitation

The governments of Chad, the Republic of Congo and France announced on 14 March that they would pledge some €45 million to support the Africa Development Bank’s (AfDB) Rural Water and Sanitation Initiative and the African Water Facility.

The pledge from the French government, made at the Sixth World Water Forum in Marseilles, was €40 million and that of Chad was USD 1 million to support the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative (RWSSI). The RWSSI is designed to increase access to water supply and improved sanitation in Africa’s rural areas.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Senegal charged to court for feet dragging

Habre is accused of committing crime against humanity...
Former Chadian leader, Hissene Habre has been in a long-standing stumped extradition to Belgium where he would stand trial on allegations of war crimes, crimes against humanity and torture. 

Habre has been living in exile in Senegal since 1992, the year a truth commission report in Chad said he presided over up to 40,000 political and ethnic-related murders.

In June 2011, Senegal President Abdoulaye Wade announced that his government is ready to extradite Mr. Habre, apparently to shift away international concerns on his country’s democratic setback when he attempted to change the electoral laws. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Curbing the inadequate capacity of local institutions

Beneficiaries of good governance project, Sanba Njabeh Village/photo:M.S.Joof/Nov2011
Gambian voters in the Badibou, Jokadou and Lower Niumi districts will not be voting along party, ethnic or religious lines in this year’s National Assembly elections and the 2013 local government elections.

That is, if the success of a “capacity building project on good governance” implemented by a local agency is anything to go by, communities in the three districts would be able to determine which candidate really deserve to be elected to represent their interest in the legislature and in at the local government level.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Alleviating the drudgery of accessing clean water and sanitation for rural communities

The rehabilitated hand- pump is the only source of clean water at Janung Kunda village, serving 68 compounds inhabited by nearly 2000 people/Pic/MSJoof
Majority of The Gambia’s rural communities undergo backbreaking efforts to access, if available, ‘safe drinking water’, with women bearing the brunt of it, while sanitary standards remain a record low as shown by recent statistics.

Three years after the United Nations General Assembly declared 2008 as the “International Year of Sanitation, the national coverage for improved sanitation in The Gambia remains at 67 percent as of 2011, dropping as low as 31 percent in some regions.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Gbeho: A man of honour, duty and experience...

Gbeho says Jammeh-administration held sham-elections in 2011
The ECOWAS Commission on March 6, 2012 hosted its outgoing President, His Excellency James Victor Gbeho, to a farewell party which was attended by members of the diplomatic corps, representatives of development partners and staff members.

Held at the Commission’s Abuja headquarters, the new President, His Excellency Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, who assumed office five days earlier, described Mr Gbeho as “a man of honour, a man of duty and a man of experience.”

Ki-moon’s message on international women’s day

Ban Ki-moon
Gender equality and the empowerment of women are gaining ground worldwide. 
There are more women Heads of State or Government than ever, and the highest proportion of women serving as Government ministers. 

Women are exercising ever greater influence in business. More girls are going to school, and are growing up healthier and better equipped to realize their potential.

Despite this momentum, there is a long way to go before women and girls can be said to enjoy the fundamental rights, freedom and dignity that are their birthright and that will guarantee their well-being. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the world’s rural areas.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

US$14 million grant to improve food security in Gambia: IFAD

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) announces it will provide US$14 million grant to The Gambia to help improve food security and incomes of smallholder producers, especially women and young people.

The announcement followed a countrywide participatory and consultative visits to project sites across the country in fulfillment of a request by Gambia Government which is developing a new agricultural project- the National Agricultural Land and Water Management Development (ALAWAMDEP).

The IFAD-supported project is expected to kick-start early 2013.

Gambia risk FIFA-ban

The Gambia is moving closer to a ban by the world’s football governing body after the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports declared “no turning back” in the decision to dissolve the executive committee of the country’s football association.

Mr. Mambanyick Njie’s comments came a few hours following the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) warns on March 6 that the country could face severe sanctions as a result of “governmental interference” in the affairs of the Gambia Football Association (GFA).

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Sports Ministry sacks Gambia’s FA

Sports Minister Jammeh
Gambia’s Ministry of Youths and Sports on February 2, 2012 disband the country’s entire Football Association, two days after the Scorpions lost 2-1 at home to the Desert Foxes of Algeria in the first leg of the preliminary round of 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. 

Sports Minister Alieu K. Jammeh based the decision on grounds that the country is making “no headway in continental and global competition.”

Revealing the news to anxiously waiting journalists at a hostel behind the Stadium in Bakau, the newly appointed Minister Jammeh said: “It is now time to excuse the executive and set a new interim committee that will take care of the country’s football.” 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Algeria in crucial away win against Gambia

The win is crucial going into June return leg in Algiers
Algeria grabs a crucial away win over the Gambia in Wednesday’s first leg preliminary rounds of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2013 qualifiers.

The Desert Foxes of Algeria came from behind to beat the Scorpions of the Gambia 2-1 at the Independence Stadium in Banjul on February 29, 2012. The win gives the visitors a significant advantage over their opponents going into the return leg in June.