Friday 19 January 2018
(APA 06/30/17)
Gambian lawmakers on Thursday adopted the new 2017 revised draft of the revenue and expenditure estimates of The Gambia Government, which was laid before the Assembly in Banjul by the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Mr. Amadou Sanneh. Presenting the revised estimates before the lawmakers, the Finance Minister said the revised budget estimates for the year was necessitated by the country's struggling economy due to huge debts owed government companies, including the National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC), the alleged financial embezzlement by...
(APA 06/29/17)
Gambia: IDB to spend $15m to improve rearing of livestockGambia’s finance and economic affairs, fisheries and security matters dominated the agenda when President Adama Barrow presided over the forth cabinet meeting on Wednesday. Speaking at the meeting, the minister of Finance and economic affairs, Amadou Sanneh briefed cabinet about the $15 million support to improve rearing of livestock, energy and the promotion of health care service from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) which he said is part of a new strategy to help countries address their challenges. Sanneh said the African Development Bank is also using a similar strategy to support African countries, focusing on five critical areas which dovetails with...
(APA 06/29/17)
The Gambia government will in 2018 liberalise the market for Hajj services available to Muslims in the country. Currently, the Gambia International Airlines, a public enterprise, is the sole company allowed to make arrangements for Muslim pilgrims travelling from The Gambia to Saudi Arabia. This was announced in Banjul recently when President Adama Barrow received members of the national Hajj Commission led by Alhaji Ousman Jah, the Amirul Hajj. Speaking at the meeting, President, Barrow pledged to work with the commission and the Gambia Supreme Islamic Council to provide the support they need in facilitating the annual pilgrimage to Makkah and Medina. Barrow emphasized that members of the Hajj commission should have the requisite experience and qualification in Hajj matters...
(Agence Ecofin 06/28/17)
The new Gambian government is set to receive some $16.1 million from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as emergency financial support to help curb the country's current economic challenges, online news medium, Jollofnews disclosed. It said IMF's Executive Board Monday approved emergency fund deal under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF), seeking to help the West African nation meet its urgent balance of payment needs. According to the report, IMF has approved a one-year staff-monitored program (SMP) to guide policy implementation, under the new democratic dispensation ushered through a first ever democratic transition in the country since independence in 1965.
(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...

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