Thursday, January 24, 2013

The EU-Jammeh Conundrum - This is About Presidential Pride, Not Patriotism

With President Yahya Jammeh’s denunciation of the EU, thousands of Gambians, save not even National Assembly members, collapsed into a froth of blind nationalist frenzy. Obligingly, the protesters took to the streets in what was widely seen as stage-managed demonstrations.
Like President Jammeh had earlier done at State House, the activists led by senior government officials, whose ranks were swelled by rank-and-files, condemned the EU for 'busy bodying in the internal affairs of sovereign Gambia’.
From Banjul, the protests spilled over to all the local administrative regions. They marched in solidarity with the Gambia leader's defense of tiny, monetarily-poor Gambia's sovereignty against the mighty EU’s intrusion.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

ACE - Will the Broadband Bring Bread to Africa’s Poor?

VP Njie-Saidy at the launch of ACE

In a popular cyber café at the heart of the Gambia’s business hub, Serrekunda, Mafuji Ceesay was staring at the computer screen as if reading an important mail. In reality, the 29-year-old Gambian was waiting for the hour-glass dancing before his eyes to stop. With a tinge of hopelessness, he right-clicked on the mouse for options and refreshed the system, hoping to make a breakthrough. No improvement.
    “As you can see for yourself, I have been here for the past eight minutes unable to view my email inbox. The whole of yesterday I could not access my email because the network was down,” he decried.  

Youth Minister Tells Young People: ‘Be Patient With Us’

Minister Jammeh being interviewed
 After much hullabaloo, the NaYCONF 2012 is now history. On Wednesday January 9, the biennial youth gathering came to a close in the Central River Region town of Bansang, the host for this year's rotational event.
The high point of the weeklong conference and festival characteristically marked the presentation of NaYCONF 2012 Resolution to the Gambia's minister for Youth and Sports, Alieu K. Jammeh.
This year’s Resolution, signed by head of delegation of all the seven regions and the NYC executive secretary, dished out a handsome slice of responsibility to a wide range of stakeholders in the development of the country's young people.

Journalist John Heaves a Sigh of Relief, But...

Journalist John recovers his laptop from NIA
Press freedom continues to elude journalists in Gambia. Currently under fire is Mr Abdoulie John, a stringer with the US-based Associated Press (AP) news agency. More than one month today, John who doubles as an editor of a Gambian online news agency, JollofNews, is still battling for his freedom.
From Dec.9, 2012 to date, the journalist had been arrested and detained on two separate occasions by the country's intelligence agency, NIA. Interestingly, all this while, he is yet to know his crime, if any.
“I did nothing wrong," he says with a unique emphasis. "It is sad to know that such things are happening in a country that is supposed to operate democratically. This is part of harassment and intimidation by the state to deny independent journalists to operate freely."