Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Gambia capable of producing million tonnes of rice

RICE as a staple food in Gambia is mainly imported from Asia (Photo credit: Facts and Details)

The Gambia has the potential to produce more than two million tonnes of rice yearly, it’s President and leading farmer, Yahya Jammeh has said.

Two weeks ago, Jammeh announced his government’s plan to initiate an all-year rice production scheme that could further efforts to attaining food self-sufficiency. We must feed ourselves, he said of The Gambia, which is endowed with land and fresh water.

Jammeh had since last year vowed to ban the importation of rice, a staple, into the West African country by 2016. He is touring the country on his annual ‘meet-the-people-tour’ with an idea of a “Vision 2016 Rice Self-sufficiency Agenda.”

Friday, April 25, 2014

Ecowas to address slow insurance claims payment

L-R: Bio Adamou, SG Ecowas Council of Bureaux and Henry Jawo, SG Gambia National Bureau speaking to journalists at the end the Ecowas Brown Card Zonal meeting in Banjul. (Photo Credit: Lamin Jahateh)
Slow payment of genuine claims as a challenge to the implementation of the Ecowas Brown Card Insurance Scheme will be addressed, the 1st zonal meeting of the Scheme agreed in Banjul on Friday.

Discussed under the theme “claims management within Ecowas”, various national bureaux of the Council of Bureaux of the Ecowas Brown Card reflect on the best ways to settle claims. 

Bio Adamou, secretary general of the permanent secretariat Ecowas Council of Bureaux, says: “The slow payments of payment of claims is contrary to the spirit of the provisions of the Protocol [of the Brown Card] which states that ‘our scheme’ is based on prompt and fair claims settlement. 

Pres. Jammeh: We must feed ourselves

RICE as a staple food in Gambia is mainly imported from Asia (Photo credit: Facts and Details)

“We must feed ourselves,” President Yaya Jammeh said of his country, The Gambia, which is endowed with land and fresh water.

Jammeh has said his government plans to initiate an all-year round rice production scheme that could further efforts to attaining food self-sufficiency.

“The all-year-round rice production would not only ensure that there is enough food for local consumption, but surplus for export to other countries,” Mr Jammeh said in the Central River Region according to state media reports.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Gambia: Court fines Egyptians over illegal fishing

The MV.SAFI fishing vessel is being held by the Navy but Magistrate Abeke had ordered for its release once the fine is paid. Photo of Banjul Ports taken from Access Gambia
A lower court in the Gambian capital, Banjul, has found two Egyptians guilty on a charge of ‘illegal fishing’ on Wednesday 23 April.

Ali Bahgatabd Alla Daoud and Hanishehata Abou El Hassan were sentenced to a fine of D200, 000 by Magistrate Hillary Abeke, who is presiding, at the Banjul Magistrate Court.  

They had no lawyer and have told the court they can only speak little English.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Ecowas to adopt new brown card insurance scheme

Insurance officials in West Africa and the Council of Bureaux of the Ecowas Brown Card Insurance Scheme are to adopt a new Consensus Brown Card to replace the existing one which will be used by all countries of the sub-regional economic bloc.

The new card is to be adopted during an April 23-25 first zonal meeting this year of the Council and 6th extra-ordinary general assembly in Banjul, The Gambia.  At least 70 senior insurance officials are attending the meeting hosted by the Gambia National Bureau of the Ecowas Brown Card.

“[The meeting is expected to] arrive at firm resolutions and decisions [about the new brown card and settlement] that would be acceptable by all,”says Ebou L. Bittaye chairperson of the Gambia National Bureau.

Ecowas insurers discuss claims management for brown card scheme

At least 70 insurers in the sub-regional economic bloc, Ecowas, Wednesday gather in Banjul to discuss claims management regarding the Brown Card Insurance Scheme in West Africa.

The April 23-25 event is the 1st zonal meeting this year of the Ecowas Brown Card Scheme hosted by the The Gambia National Bureau of Ecowas Brown Card.

It is being preceded by an extra-ordinary general assembly to enable the Scheme adopt a new ‘Consensus Brown Card’ for use in all Ecowas member states.

The Brown Card Scheme is a compulsory insurance cover for third party liability against accident involving vehicles traveling across the West African sub-region.  It covers death, medical expenses, bodily injury and material damage.

Gambia Football Federation to Protest CAF Championship Expulsion

By Omar Bah

A spokesperson of The Gambia Football Federation, GFF, has said on Monday they will protest against a decision by the Confederation of African Football to disqualify The Gambia from the U-20 Championship for fielding ineligible players. 

CAF’s decision on April 21 came after Liberia’s FA protest over Gambia’s used of over-aged players during the first leg of the qualifiers in Monrovia which Gambia won 1-0.    

“The GFF is innocent and we were acting on the rules and regulations that were presented to us. The players that we selected were under-20 and they are eligible to play the qualifiers,” argued FA spokesman Buba Star Janneh.

GFF invite police to probe expulsion over age-cheating

GFF President Mustapha Kebbeh (Photo Credit: Sang Mendy)

The Gambia Football Federation, GFF, Wednesday announced it will invite the police to investigate the age-cheating saga that led to the country’s expulsion from the U20 qualifiers last week.
Following an appeal by Liberia over Gambia’s use of ineligible players during the first leg of the qualifiers in Monrovia which Gambia won 1-0, the continent’s football governing body, CAF, announced it has expelled The Gambia. 

"Indeed, Sampere Mendy, Buba Sanneh, Bubacarr Trawally, Saloum Faal and Ali Sowe were all born in 1994 and are not qualified to participate…,” a CAF organizing committee agreed on April 21.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Sports Council to Investigate 'Incompetent' Gambia Football Federation

The Gambia is disqualified for age cheating.  Photo taken from Afrikan Soccer shows a 2007 Gambian U-20 team

 The National Sports Council (NSC) has on Monday announced a task-force to investigate The Gambia's disqualification from the U-20 Championship for using overage players.

It has said it will accordingly "take appropriate action" but it is not clear what that means.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The wait is killing me. Is it killing you too?

Two seasoned sports administrators have said they are convinced The Gambia have not flouted any rule.

Gambians continue to wait anxiously for CAF to decide on the allegations leveled against The Gambia U-20. It has been 10 days since Liberia appealed against The Gambia for alleged use of five over age players, writes journalist Sang Mendy on Facebook. 

Since then, there have been conflicting reports about player eligibility. The Liberians claimed that only players born January 1, 1995 are eligible to play in the qualifiers. 

On the contrary, authorities at the Gambia Football Federation (GFF) state that players born in 1994 are eligible to play in the qualifiers until they turn 20. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

New release: Peace Fighters debut single ‘Come with me’

Upcoming singers, the Peace Fighters Clan (PFC), have released their debut single entitled ‘Come with me’ recently. The song was produced by Ghetto Boy Production.
King Abdoze, lead singer describes the song as a love song written for and dedicated to all lovers.

“It teaches lovers to come together no matter how tough the road might be, one thing must get better,” he told The Voice Vibes on 14 April, 2014.

Friday, April 11, 2014

M.B. Jones: Fearless newspaper as an indispensable tool for progress

taken by משתמש:Hmbr
54 years on this May, M.B. Jones’s strong editorial statement is still relevant in today’s Gambia, a developing country where a small independent press is stifled.
taken by משתמש:Hmbr (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
“A fearless, outspoken, unbiased newspaper is not only a desideratum to a backward and underdeveloped nation, but an indispensable tool for progress,” Gambian journalist Melville Benoni Jones wrote in an editorial in the Outlook on May 3, 1960.

Historical chronicles about Mr Jones writing and journalism has shown him to be radical and an activist journalist who wrote with authority.

In a recent account, a Gambian historian described him as having combined “crusading journalism with militant politics and trade unionism to challenge British colonial rule.”

But what did the man popularly known as “M.B. Jones”, whose work pre and post colonialism included the fight for a free and independent press, meant by (a fearless, outspoken, unbiased newspaper… indispensable tool for progress)?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

ACP-EU grouping restrict Gambia’s participation in bloc's 27th session

The Gambia River in its lower reaches flowing ...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The European Union-African Caribbean and Pacific (EU-ACP)’s Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) has restricted The Gambia’s participation in the pro-development bloc for not paying its contributions.

Gambia’s membership rights and privileges are been restricted in the grouping of States due to arrears in its membership contributions, revealed Hon. Netty Baldeh, a National Assembly member for Tumana district who led a delegation to the 27th Session of EU-ACP JPA in Strasbourg, France from 12-19 March.

Speaking at the Assembly on April 9, he said the Gambian ambassador was denied the chance to speak because The Gambia was among countries that are in arrears with their statutory contributions.

Gambia to tighten punishment for breakers of tourism laws

The terminal of Banjul International Airport, ...
The jurisdiction of the 24 hour Tribunal will also include the Banjul International Airport and the tourism development area, known as the TDA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Gambia has presented amendments to the country’s tourism laws endorsed by the parliament to impose severe fines for offenders.

“Tourism Offences (Amendment) Bill 2014” which seeks to amend the “Tourism Offences Act 2003” by increasing the monetary penalties for persons convicted of offences related to tourism, was approved by the parliament on April 8.

The amendments have to be assented to by President Yahya Jammeh for it to become law. If he does, the new law would impose harsher fines to a minimum D50, 000. Terms for imprisonment will remain not more than two years.

The Gambia eligible for additional Commonwealth-funded scholarship places

The Gambia, a least developed West African country which withdrew its membership of the Commonwealth in October 2013, is eligible for additional Commonwealth-funded scholarship places.   

The British Embassy in Banjul today April 9 announced the tripling of Chevening scholarships for the 2015-16 academic year. 

It said the decision was reached by the UK Budget on 19 March. The scholarships are the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s flagship global scholarship programme aimed at future leaders, influencers and decision-makers.

The UK Budget stated that additional funding will bring over 1,000 more potential future leaders to study in UK universities, meaning in the 2015-16 academic year, there will be more than 1,500 Chevening Scholars.  

All countries on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Development Assistance Committee (OECD-DAC) list of Official Development Assistance (ODA) recipients [The Gambia included] will be eligible for additional scholarship places. 


If You Want Privacy or Anonymity or Security, Stay Off the Internet This Week

Security holes are par for the course on the web today, but a new, massive bug dubbed "Heartbleed” is particularly nasty, and widespread: Experts say that two-thirds of websites and probably everyone that’s used the internet in the last two years could be affected.

The irony is, those who have put the most effort into privacy and security are the most vulnerable. 

The bug exposes the popular cryptographic software, OpenSSL, a mainstay web encryption. Heartbleed makes it possible for anyone to eavesdrop on encrypted sites and access the sensitive data they’re supposed to be protecting, all without leaving any trace on the site’s server. Even worse, attackers can also retrieve cryptographic keys and passwords and use that info to decrypt any past or future web traffic.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

IMF says Gambia’s policy implementation gone off-track

Projections of The Gambia’s economic growth are usually not representative of citizens’ socioeconomic status.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has on April 7 stated The Gambia’s implementation of [financial] policies during the first quarter of 2014 has “gone off-track”.

“[This is] mainly because spending significantly exceeded agreed targets following completion of the first review in May 2013,” it says after assessing the authorities’ progress in implementing [monetary] policies to bring their reform programme back on track.

Gambia’s reform programme is supported by an IMF Extended Credit Facility arrangement.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Gambia should quickly finalise national anti-money laundering strategy

GIABA’s director of research, Mr Mu’Azu Umaru speaking on behalf on director general of GIABA, Adama Coulibaly - Photo Credit: MSJoof/TNBES/GNJaML
The director general of the Inter-governmental action group against money laundering in West Africa (GIABA), Adama Coulibaly, has advised The Gambia to “quickly finalise” its national anti-money laundering and counter-financing terrorism (AML/CFT) strategy.
Gambia has chosen to develop a national strategy that will serve as a driving force for deepening of its AML/CFT system.

In a statement read on his behalf during an April 1-3 “stakeholders workshop to develop the strategy” at a local hotel in Kololi, The Gambia, Mr Coulibaly said the timing is auspicious as the second round of evaluations for GIABA member states is set to begin in the last quarter of 2015.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

MSF: Guinea Ebola ‘Unprecedented Epidemic’

Ebola virus virion. Created by CDC microbiologist Cynthia Goldsmith, this colorized transmission electron micrograph (TEM) revealed some of the ultrastructural morphology displayed by an Ebola virus virion. (Photo taken from Wikipedia)
The medical charity Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières, MSF) has announced on Monday it is facing an unprecedented epidemic in terms of the distribution of [Ebola] cases now scattered in several locations in Guinea.

MSF announcement followed eight confirmed cases of Ebola reported in the capital Conakry.  78 people have been confirmed death already as a result of the disease.

“We are facing an epidemic of a magnitude never before seen in terms of the distribution of cases in the country: Gueckedou, Macenta Kissidougou, Nzerekore, and now Conakry,” says Mariano Lugli, coordinator of MSF’s project in Conakry.