Sunday 19 November 2017
(AFP (eng) 06/28/17)
The generic version of the most advanced drug against HIV has been introduced in Kenya, a first in Africa where more than 25 million have the disease, the NGO Unitaid said Wednesday. The drug, Dolutegravir (DTG) is the anti-retroviral drug of choice for those living with HIV in developed countries, but its high price has put it out of reach for most struggling with the disease in Africa. "The generic DTG has two advantages: on the one hand, it is very good from a pharmaceutical point of view. On the other hand, it is much cheaper," said Robert Matiru of Unitaid, which works to reduce the costs of medicines treating AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria. He described the drug as "the...
(APA 06/27/17)
Gambia's President Adama Barrow has assured Muslims elders that he will not interfere in religious matters, the way former president Yahya Jammeh did. Whereas Muslims in Banjul and environs observed the Eid locally called Koriteh on Sunday, many Muslim communities in provincial Gambia celebrated the feast of Eid el Fitr on Monday, claiming they sighted the moon on Sunday and not Saturday evening. During the latter part of Jammeh’s rule, he insisted and his office officially decreed that all Muslims resident in The Gambia must perform the Eid prayers on the same day throughout the territory of The Gambia.
(APA 06/24/17)
Cabinet ministers in the new Gambian government will declare their assets to the state by July 15, 2017 under a new policy promoting transparency and accountability in public affairs. This was announced in a statement delivered by the director of Communication at the Office of the President in Banjul, Amie Bojang-Sissoho, during a press briefing at the presidency Thursday. She said a new culture of transparency and accountability in The Gambia consists in ministers declaring their self-worth to discourage corruption in government. The decision instructing ministers to declare their assets is in response to widespread public calls for the personal properties of appointed state officials to be made public. The move has been widely hailed by Gambians at home and...
(APA 06/23/17)
Landing Kinteh has been appointed as The Gambia’s new Inspector General of Police, a police spokesman confirmed to APA on Thursday. Police Public Relations Officer, Inspector Foday Conta said Kinteh is taking over from Jammeh-era IGP Yankuba Sonko with immediate effect although he would only report to work after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Former police commissioner at the Police Training School, Mamour Jobe has been appointed as Kinteh’s deputy. Until his appointment as IGP, Landing Kinteh has been serving at the African Union and United Nations hybrid peacekeeping mission in the restive Sudanese region of Darfur. He had reportedly abandoned his UN contract in Sudan to return and work in The Gambia. IGP Kinteh who has a Master's...
(APA 06/23/17)
Gambia's new three-floor ferry, Kunta Kinteh, has the capacity to carry up to 2000 passengers, 27 cars, four trucks and state-of-the-art navigational aid and fire-fighting equipment devices for passengers. Speaking at the commissioning of the ferry on Wednesday, President Adama Barrow recalled the difficulties passengers experienced while crossing to and from Banjul-Barra for their normal work or personal schedules. Barrow said he had pledged to the electorate in the North Bank Region that once he was elected, he would fix the challenges of crossing the river that separates the city of Banjul and Barra. 'While the commissioning of the new ferry today will surely alleviate the present state of the ferry services, I am fully aware...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/23/17)
DAR ES SALAAM (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Sadick Thenest remembers how his 8-year-old daughter had a narrow brush with death two years ago, when she contracted cholera after drinking contaminated water. “She was so gaunt, weak and had terrible diarrhea,” said the refugee from Burundi. “A slight delay in rushing her to hospital would have meant something else - but with God’s grace she survived.” The father of four, aged 35, is among thousands of refugees grappling with frequent outbreaks of waterborne diseases in the crowded Nyarugusu camp in western Tanzania, due to poor sanitation. “Living in a refugee camp is a constant struggle. You either stick to health rules or contract diseases,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by...
(APA 06/21/17)
Gambian President, Adama Barrow will commission a brand new ferry scheduled to start operation on Wednesday and ease the challenges of crossing for tens of thousands of commuters who use the 7-kilometre stretch. The Gambia Ports Authority announced on Tuesday.that the new ferry will facilitate transportation of people and goods across the waters separating the capital, Banjul and the town of Barra in the North Bank of the River Gambia. The vessel with a capacity of 2000 landed at the Banjul shipyard earlier in June pending its commissioning ahead of the highly anticipated river transport services. It was purchased to help reduce the transport burden on the two ferries currently plying the crossing point...
(Voice of America 06/21/17)
WASHINGTON DC — On June 5, Saudi Arabia and its allies, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of funding extremist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State. In response, Qatar said it was the victim of a policy of “domination and control” by its larger neighbor and that Saudi Arabia was, in fact, the one responsible for backing extremism. So what is the truth? Fundamentalist strains of Islam, including Saudi-born Salafism and Wahhabism, form the ideological bedrock for most terror groups. According to a study by Leif Wenar of King’s College London based on the Global Terrorism Database, three out of four terror attacks in the last 10 years...
(Agence Ecofin 06/17/17)
Senegal is considering helping Gambia face the power crisis which it currently experiences. SENELEC, Senegal’s power utility is currently looking at exporting its power surplus to Gambia, the country’s minister of power, Thierno Alassane Sall, said. “As we speak, we have an excess output of 200MW which is not being used. We even negotiated with a neighboring country (Mali, editor’s note) to which will be sold 20MW. And there is another neighbor which is landlocked and just comes out of a crisis. We are looking at how to provide it more power,” the minister said. The power crisis which Gambia currently faces threatens even drinking water supply to its populations. A situation which is quite hard to deal with, especially...
(APA 06/16/17)
The sector regulator the Public Utility Regulatory Authority (PURA) of the Gambia government has announced the liberalization of licenses to allow private television stations to operate in the country. This was after a review of TV licensing to provide for migration from analogue to digital technology, as instructed by the Ministry of Information and Communications Infrastructure. A press release from PURA, seen by APA on Friday, announced the new government is now accepting applications for license to operate private televisions in the country. This is in contrast to the former government of Yahya Jammeh which delayed granting license...
(APA 06/16/17)
The visiting UN Working Group on enforced or involuntary disappearances Thursday held a closed door meeting with Gambian President Adama Barrow. The group has been in The Gambia since Sunday to conduct a comprehensive study on the prevention and eradication of enforced disappearances, including issues related to truth, justice and reparation for victims of such violations. Members of the UN working group are expected to meet and hold talks with family members of disappeared relatives with a view to studying their cases. Speaking briefly to journalists at the end of their closed door meeting with President Barrow, the head of the delegation, Ms. Houria Es-Slami said the Gambian leader has indicated his resolve to pursue justice for victims of former...
(APA 06/16/17)
The Management of the closed Daily Observer newspaper have resorted to negotiations with the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) over the company's tax payment default allegedly since 2004, amounting to D17 millions (about $377,777), a senior reporter of the newspaper told APA on Friday. According to the anonymous source, the negotiations have been going on since Thursday, and that the dialogue is expected to reach an agreement to allow the company resume operations and pay the tax areas by installments. The company with up-to 99 employees of which 80 are full time staff and 19 freelancers, was ordered to shut down by GRA officials who were escorted to the Daily Observer offices in Kanifing outside the capital Banjul on Wednesday. Meanwhile...
(AFP (eng) 06/15/17)
"I'm prepared to die," says Abdullah Ibrahim, a 27-year-old migrant from The Gambia. "I want to go to Germany, I love Germany since I'm young. I hope my dream will come true." For the time being, that dream is on hold after a first attempt negotiating the dangers of the desert, then armed militias in Libya to reach the Mediterranean. But he failed to find passage on a vessel to Europe and has returned to the central Niger city of Agadez, currently Africa's people-smuggling capital. Undaunted, he plans to try again, but his frustration is evident as he contemplates his situation, a black hood crammed so low on his head that it almost covers his eyes. He shares a house...
(APA 06/15/17)
The leader of the opposition Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC), Fabakary Tombong Jatta, has spoken out against “the militarization of Kanilai and other areas in Foni”. “I will urge the government to end the illegal curfew in Kanilai. I have spoken to the people there, and they told me the military has imposed a curfew on the villagers’, Jatta told journalists. It would be recalled that Kanilai, native village of the former president, was recently the scene of a protest by the villagers and a clash with ECOMIG forces based there, which resulted in the death of one protester and injury to several others when the forces opened fire. Several protesters were subsequently arrested and arraigned. Speaking to...
(APA 06/15/17)
The Gambia has severed diplomatic ties with the Gulf State of Qatar following South Africa, Egypt and Senegal over allegations that the Middle Eastern nation is funding terrorist organizations. According to a news release issued on Thursday by the ministry of foreign affairs, international cooperation and Gambians abroad read on national television on Wednesday night, the Gambia has become the latest country to cut ties with Qatar. Gambia has enjoyed numerous development projects during former president Yahya Jammeh's administration; several Qatari investors have established joint business ventures in Banjul. In April, Gambia's foreign affairs minister, Ousainou Darbo was in Qatar to negotiate ways of rekindling diplomatic ties with Banjul which was at its lowest ebb at the time the new...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Extortion, corruption and fear; violence, hunger and sometimes even death: for west African migrants dreaming of reaching Europe, the road to get there can be an absolute minefield. - Departure - Whether it's The Gambia, Ivory Coast, Senegal or Nigeria, everything starts with the "hustlers" -- slang for the middlemen or fixers who organise the trip. Their honesty and prices vary, with the would-be migrant usually deceived about the welcome expected in Europe. Many possess no official documents from their home country, and do not understand illegal status in Europe. Most are ignorant about the extreme difficulties they will encounter en route. "We didn't know we were risking our lives," said Kante Sekou...
(Agence Ecofin 06/14/17)
The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (“ICD”), the private sector arm of IDB Group, and Agib Bank Ltd have entered into a Joint Strategic Collaboration to finance private sector entities in The Gambia. On behalf of the CEO of ICD, Mr Khaled Al Aboodi, Mr. Mohammed Alammari, Director of Internal Audit at ICD signed the financing agreements for the amount of USD5 million. with Mr. Muhammed Jah, Chairman of Agib Bank. The collaboration will focus on developing private sector, supporting economy, strengthening the balance sheet of the Bank, improving the living standard of the population by creating jobs, generating tax revenues for the government and promoting Islamic Banking in the country. Mr. Mohammed Alammari stated “We...
(APA 06/14/17)
Gambia’s President Adama Barrow has announced he would hold a press conference twice in every six months to inform the citizens on the activities of the government. Emerging from Tuesday's second cabinet meeting, President Adama Barrow took to his Facebook page, writing: “My cabinet agreed to put in place a communications strategy that would guide regular government communication with the public. This will include regular press briefings and I will hold bi-annual news conferences.” Reacting to news of the proposed bi-annual press conferences, the Gambia press union said it was a great and...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Maria gave smugglers all her family savings and crossed three countries and the searing Libyan desert, but when she finally boarded a boat for Europe her dream was swiftly shattered. She was 24 and pregnant with her second child when she left Liberia with her husband and their three-year-old son. The family passed through Guinea and Mali before crossing southern Algeria to reach the Libyan desert. "The smugglers took all our money" -- more than $2,150 (2,000 euros), she said. "We spent four days in the desert. People died of thirst and the sun in the back of the truck." They finally arrived on the beach at Sabrata, 70 kilometres (45 miles) west of Libya's capital Tripoli, a key departure...
(APA 06/14/17)
A 10-day ''National Dialogue on Peace and Reconciliation'' began on Tuesday to resolve the recent violent protest by natives of former President Yahya Jammeh's home village, Kanilai and nearby communities in the Foni Province, West Coast Region of the country. The dialogue is organized by the National Council for Civic Education (NCCE) of the Gambian Government. The protesters were demanded the withdrawal of the ECOMIG troops in the Kanilai, resulting to fierce clashes in which at least one of the protesters was shot dead and many others seriously injured. The national dialogue is meant to unite and reconcile all Gambians, especially the people of Foni, where recent anti-ECOMIG protest raised tension between members of the security service and residents. In...

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