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Gambia

Kartong says mining makes it lose rice fields, gardens

The Point - Mar, 27/09/2022 - 12:42pm

The Village Development Committee (VDC) in a meeting on Saturday 24 September says the birthrights of citizens of Kartong have been infringed upon and totally disregarded by denying them the token of “our village royalties. We are still grappling with the destruction of our once beautiful habitat enriched by our wonderful sand dunes accumulated overtime spanning centuries.”

The Gambia government through the Ministry of Lands has reserved about 200 metres from the Atlantic Ocean as a Tourism Development Area (TDA). However, mining companies have been licenced to mine the territory in some communities such as Kartong and Sanyang villages.

Kartong VDC had previously warned the Geology Department not to grant mining licence to any company to mine its territory.

Following this call, the VDC addressed a letter to the National Environmental Agency (NEA) and several mining stakeholders reaffirming its commitment to protecting their environment from degradation.

After the letter, the VDC held a community meeting aimed at updating Kartong residents on its stance on the suggested mining.

Reading the letter addressed to NEA before residents on Saturday 24 September, Momodou Lamin Touray, secretary general to Kartong VDC said: “We are aware that the government has reserved all coastlines in the Kombos for the development of tourism and calls it Tourism Development Area (TDA).

“Now, it seems the same Government is encouraging companies to destroy the same TDA through mining, be it sand or ilmenite.”

According to him, The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), World Tourism Organisation (WTO), Gambia Tourism Board (GTB) and Kartong Association for Responsible Tourism (KART) have identified Kartong as an Eco-Tourism area.

“This means Kartong was to promote environmental conservation to directly benefit the community through sustaining the continual arrival and departure of tourists. Could this be achieved with a totally destroyed environment,” he rhetorically asked, adding it is unfortunate.

Moving forward, he said, the magnitude and intensity of environmental damage and landscape destruction caused by the “recklessness and unacceptable sand mining from 1996-2000 and their subsequent mines have been catastrophic for the community.”

Touray noted the scars of environmental destruction caused by sand mining in Kartong are rampant but added that the community would no longer afford further damages in its territory.

“We as a people cannot tolerate more environmental crime any longer,” he noted.

In this regard, he said, the residents of Kartong believed that they should close ranks in an organised level to seek redress, reparation and claim damage from the central government.

SG Touray justified that before the mining, the Geology Department had promised to ensure that mine sites were backfilled after mining, sites are fenced, rehabilitated and the community to be compensated but none of these assurances were fulfilled.

Reacting to this, Alkinky Sanyang, senior education & communication specialist for NEA, noted that the quarries (mining sites) are not under the NEA, saying the environmental agency is only mandated to do environmental assessments and give clearance to mining companies.

“If any company requests for mining or to do anything with mining, it has to be first cleared by the Geological Department and that is the time we (NEA) say we need to do an environmental assessment and clearance is given,” he stated.

He added that NEA is not mandated to issue mining licences to mining companies but only does environmental assessment impact and gives clearance if certified.

However, he noted that if the Geological Department does not give certificates to a company, then NEA will not do any environmental assessment.

However, a government source confirmed to The Point that Gam Quarry Mining and General Trading Company is yet to be licenced to mine at Kartong.

Kartong is an ancient village located on a tropical valley bordered by the beach of the Atlantic Ocean on the west and meandering Halahein River on the east and south.

Categorie: Gambia

Kartong says mining makes it lose rice fields, gardens

The Point - Gambia - Mar, 27/09/2022 - 12:42pm

The Village Development Committee (VDC) in a meeting on Saturday 24 September says the birthrights of citizens of Kartong have been infringed upon and totally disregarded by denying them the token of “our village royalties. We are still grappling with the destruction of our once beautiful habitat enriched by our wonderful sand dunes accumulated overtime spanning centuries.”

The Gambia government through the Ministry of Lands has reserved about 200 metres from the Atlantic Ocean as a Tourism Development Area (TDA). However, mining companies have been licenced to mine the territory in some communities such as Kartong and Sanyang villages.

Kartong VDC had previously warned the Geology Department not to grant mining licence to any company to mine its territory.

Following this call, the VDC addressed a letter to the National Environmental Agency (NEA) and several mining stakeholders reaffirming its commitment to protecting their environment from degradation.

After the letter, the VDC held a community meeting aimed at updating Kartong residents on its stance on the suggested mining.

Reading the letter addressed to NEA before residents on Saturday 24 September, Momodou Lamin Touray, secretary general to Kartong VDC said: “We are aware that the government has reserved all coastlines in the Kombos for the development of tourism and calls it Tourism Development Area (TDA).

“Now, it seems the same Government is encouraging companies to destroy the same TDA through mining, be it sand or ilmenite.”

According to him, The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), World Tourism Organisation (WTO), Gambia Tourism Board (GTB) and Kartong Association for Responsible Tourism (KART) have identified Kartong as an Eco-Tourism area.

“This means Kartong was to promote environmental conservation to directly benefit the community through sustaining the continual arrival and departure of tourists. Could this be achieved with a totally destroyed environment,” he rhetorically asked, adding it is unfortunate.

Moving forward, he said, the magnitude and intensity of environmental damage and landscape destruction caused by the “recklessness and unacceptable sand mining from 1996-2000 and their subsequent mines have been catastrophic for the community.”

Touray noted the scars of environmental destruction caused by sand mining in Kartong are rampant but added that the community would no longer afford further damages in its territory.

“We as a people cannot tolerate more environmental crime any longer,” he noted.

In this regard, he said, the residents of Kartong believed that they should close ranks in an organised level to seek redress, reparation and claim damage from the central government.

SG Touray justified that before the mining, the Geology Department had promised to ensure that mine sites were backfilled after mining, sites are fenced, rehabilitated and the community to be compensated but none of these assurances were fulfilled.

Reacting to this, Alkinky Sanyang, senior education & communication specialist for NEA, noted that the quarries (mining sites) are not under the NEA, saying the environmental agency is only mandated to do environmental assessments and give clearance to mining companies.

“If any company requests for mining or to do anything with mining, it has to be first cleared by the Geological Department and that is the time we (NEA) say we need to do an environmental assessment and clearance is given,” he stated.

He added that NEA is not mandated to issue mining licences to mining companies but only does environmental assessment impact and gives clearance if certified.

However, he noted that if the Geological Department does not give certificates to a company, then NEA will not do any environmental assessment.

However, a government source confirmed to The Point that Gam Quarry Mining and General Trading Company is yet to be licenced to mine at Kartong.

Kartong is an ancient village located on a tropical valley bordered by the beach of the Atlantic Ocean on the west and meandering Halahein River on the east and south.

Categorie: Gambia

Gov’t asks Justice Ministry to lead review of Securiport contract agreement

The Point - Mar, 27/09/2022 - 12:40pm

 

A letter dispatched from the Office of the President bearing Mod K. Ceesay’s signature, the President’s Chief of Staff and copied to secretary general, Office of the President, permanent secretary Ministry of Finance, permanent secretary Ministry of Interior, director general, State Intelligence Service (SIS), director general, Gambia Immigration Department (GID) and the director general, Gambia Civil Aviation Authority states: “Based on directives received through the National Security Council through this office writes to request the Ministry of Justice to lead a joint review of the contract documents signed between the government of The Gambia and Securiport LLC.”

“The Ministry of Justice should conduct the review in collaboration with the contracting party; Ministry of Interior and Gambia Immigration Department, Ministry of Finance, The Gambia Civil Aviation Authority, State Intelligence Service as constituted by Cabinet per the Secretary to cabinet letter dated 13th September, 2022.”  

“The objective of the engagement is for improving the terms of the contract where possible. The review should also include the possibility to embed the cost in the ticket, as opposed to the current practice of physical collection at the Airport terminal,” the release stated.

Categorie: Gambia

Gov’t asks Justice Ministry to lead review of Securiport contract agreement

The Point - Gambia - Mar, 27/09/2022 - 12:40pm

 

A letter dispatched from the Office of the President bearing Mod K. Ceesay’s signature, the President’s Chief of Staff and copied to secretary general, Office of the President, permanent secretary Ministry of Finance, permanent secretary Ministry of Interior, director general, State Intelligence Service (SIS), director general, Gambia Immigration Department (GID) and the director general, Gambia Civil Aviation Authority states: “Based on directives received through the National Security Council through this office writes to request the Ministry of Justice to lead a joint review of the contract documents signed between the government of The Gambia and Securiport LLC.”

“The Ministry of Justice should conduct the review in collaboration with the contracting party; Ministry of Interior and Gambia Immigration Department, Ministry of Finance, The Gambia Civil Aviation Authority, State Intelligence Service as constituted by Cabinet per the Secretary to cabinet letter dated 13th September, 2022.”  

“The objective of the engagement is for improving the terms of the contract where possible. The review should also include the possibility to embed the cost in the ticket, as opposed to the current practice of physical collection at the Airport terminal,” the release stated.

Categorie: Gambia

Aminata Touré to run for 2024 Senegal presidency

The Point - Mar, 27/09/2022 - 12:38pm

 

The former Prime Minister of Senegal has decided to abandon the Coalition Benno Boka Yakarr after the selection of the President of Parliament, a position she said Macky offered her prior to the National Assembly elections.

“Macky Sall called me 15 minutes before the announcement of my candidature as President of Assembly to tell me he has changed his mind and that he has another candidate,” he said.

“I would be president of the National Assembly today, if I were in favour of the third mandate,” she stated.

Aminata Touré insists that there was an agreement between President Macky Sall and her for the Presidency of the Assembly. “We discussed it and agreed that the position would come to me.” We had an agreement. This is the truth and I meant to say it.”

The President phoned me to tell me that he had changed his mind and chosen a different profile on Monday, the installation day of the Assembly (September 12) at 9am on Monday, the Assembly day,” she revealed.

“Believe it, if I were in favour of the third term, I would been president of the National Assembly today,” she emphasised.  

Categorie: Gambia

Aminata Touré to run for 2024 Senegal presidency

The Point - Gambia - Mar, 27/09/2022 - 12:38pm

 

The former Prime Minister of Senegal has decided to abandon the Coalition Benno Boka Yakarr after the selection of the President of Parliament, a position she said Macky offered her prior to the National Assembly elections.

“Macky Sall called me 15 minutes before the announcement of my candidature as President of Assembly to tell me he has changed his mind and that he has another candidate,” he said.

“I would be president of the National Assembly today, if I were in favour of the third mandate,” she stated.

Aminata Touré insists that there was an agreement between President Macky Sall and her for the Presidency of the Assembly. “We discussed it and agreed that the position would come to me.” We had an agreement. This is the truth and I meant to say it.”

The President phoned me to tell me that he had changed his mind and chosen a different profile on Monday, the installation day of the Assembly (September 12) at 9am on Monday, the Assembly day,” she revealed.

“Believe it, if I were in favour of the third term, I would been president of the National Assembly today,” she emphasised.  

Categorie: Gambia

U.S. Dept of agriculture awards US$28.5M Gambia

The Point - Mar, 27/09/2022 - 12:37pm

The funds are being awarded through the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program, which is administered by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. This award is part of President Biden’s $2 billion additional funding to strengthen global food security, announced at the United Nations General Assembly.

The McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program helps support education, child development and food security in low-income, food-deficit countries around the globe. The program provides for the donation of U.S. agricultural commodities, as well as financial and technical assistance, to support school feeding and maternal and child nutrition projects.

The key objective of the McGovern-Dole Program is to reduce hunger and improve literacy and primary education, especially for girls. By providing school meals, teacher training and related support, McGovern-Dole projects help boost school enrollment and academic performance. At the same time, the program also focuses on improving children’s health and learning capacity before they start school by offering nutrition programs for pregnant and nursing women, infants, and pre-schoolers. 

Categorie: Gambia

U.S. Dept of agriculture awards US$28.5M Gambia

The Point - Gambia - Mar, 27/09/2022 - 12:37pm

The funds are being awarded through the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program, which is administered by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. This award is part of President Biden’s $2 billion additional funding to strengthen global food security, announced at the United Nations General Assembly.

The McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program helps support education, child development and food security in low-income, food-deficit countries around the globe. The program provides for the donation of U.S. agricultural commodities, as well as financial and technical assistance, to support school feeding and maternal and child nutrition projects.

The key objective of the McGovern-Dole Program is to reduce hunger and improve literacy and primary education, especially for girls. By providing school meals, teacher training and related support, McGovern-Dole projects help boost school enrollment and academic performance. At the same time, the program also focuses on improving children’s health and learning capacity before they start school by offering nutrition programs for pregnant and nursing women, infants, and pre-schoolers. 

Categorie: Gambia

‘Knife crime criminals must be caught, punished’

The Point - Mar, 27/09/2022 - 12:33pm

With the tragic rise in knife killings in the country recently, Mr. Ceesay called on the Ministry of Interior and The Gambia Police Force to introduce tough measures to address the violence.

He stated that knife crime criminals must be caught and punished.

Senseless violence has once again resulted in the loss of young men with their lives ahead of them and the TV host expressed devastation by the deaths of our youths.

 “The police should be determined to ensure criminals are caught and punished. Operational policing must be Democratic Policing, Community Policing, where operational policing carry out educational talks in schools and colleges, stop and search activity, knife sweeps, high visibility patrol, and warrants. They should also visit people who repeatedly carry knives as well as speak to retailers and youth groups,” he stated.

He further said that Interior ministry needs to develop key action strategies, intelligence and information sharing and deliver initiatives at three levels- Prevention, Intervention and Enforcement.

“Government and Local authorities need to develop key strategies to stress the importance of early intervention to tackle the root causes of serious violence and provide young people with the skill and resilience to lead productive lives free from violence,” he also said.

Categorie: Gambia

‘Knife crime criminals must be caught, punished’

The Point - Gambia - Mar, 27/09/2022 - 12:33pm

With the tragic rise in knife killings in the country recently, Mr. Ceesay called on the Ministry of Interior and The Gambia Police Force to introduce tough measures to address the violence.

He stated that knife crime criminals must be caught and punished.

Senseless violence has once again resulted in the loss of young men with their lives ahead of them and the TV host expressed devastation by the deaths of our youths.

 “The police should be determined to ensure criminals are caught and punished. Operational policing must be Democratic Policing, Community Policing, where operational policing carry out educational talks in schools and colleges, stop and search activity, knife sweeps, high visibility patrol, and warrants. They should also visit people who repeatedly carry knives as well as speak to retailers and youth groups,” he stated.

He further said that Interior ministry needs to develop key action strategies, intelligence and information sharing and deliver initiatives at three levels- Prevention, Intervention and Enforcement.

“Government and Local authorities need to develop key strategies to stress the importance of early intervention to tackle the root causes of serious violence and provide young people with the skill and resilience to lead productive lives free from violence,” he also said.

Categorie: Gambia

‘Tribalism delays Gambia’s development’

The Point - Mar, 27/09/2022 - 12:30pm

 PRO Njie made the remarks during an interview with The Point over the weekend.

Njie added that Gambians are facing lots of challenges and should come together to eradicate corruption and improve the living standard of citizens.

“Everything in the country is becoming more expensive by the day. Corruption is the other of the day, fuel prices unstable, vendors complain,” he said.

“These among other things should be a great concern to every Gambian and we should be united to fight for the development of the country.”

He emphasised that the UDP is not an enemy to the Barrow administration, but notes they will fight through the right way to make sure Gambians get the ruling and development they deserve.

He said the entire Badibou will continue to support the UDP while encouraging the leadership not to relent.

Mr. Njie thanked his party leader Lawyer Ousainu Darboe for donating to Wandifa Mbye whose motorbike was stolen.

Categorie: Gambia

‘Tribalism delays Gambia’s development’

The Point - Gambia - Mar, 27/09/2022 - 12:30pm

 PRO Njie made the remarks during an interview with The Point over the weekend.

Njie added that Gambians are facing lots of challenges and should come together to eradicate corruption and improve the living standard of citizens.

“Everything in the country is becoming more expensive by the day. Corruption is the other of the day, fuel prices unstable, vendors complain,” he said.

“These among other things should be a great concern to every Gambian and we should be united to fight for the development of the country.”

He emphasised that the UDP is not an enemy to the Barrow administration, but notes they will fight through the right way to make sure Gambians get the ruling and development they deserve.

He said the entire Badibou will continue to support the UDP while encouraging the leadership not to relent.

Mr. Njie thanked his party leader Lawyer Ousainu Darboe for donating to Wandifa Mbye whose motorbike was stolen.

Categorie: Gambia

Agric. minister Launches the African Emergency Food Production Facility

The Point - Mar, 27/09/2022 - 12:28pm

The AEFPF is an additional financing that follows the joint meeting of the ministers of Agriculture and of Finance of the African Union on the African Emergency Food Production plan in which The Gambia participated.

Speaking at the launching ceremony, Dr. Sabally informed the gathering that the government of The Gambia is taking major strides to transform the Agriculture sector in addressing food security and meeting the nutritional needs of its people.

“Despite these efforts, The Gambia’s high dependence on imports for staple and key commodities has deepened the country’s vulnerability to external shocks such as the effect of Covid-19 and the impact of the Russia-Ukraine crisis on the food supply system” he stressed.

He elaborated that the AEFPF is the African Development Bank’s newly approved rapid response framework to address the food crisis and distribution of the supply of critical inputs for food production arising from the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Having been aware of the existence of this facility, Dr. Sabally stated that the government of The Gambia requested additional financing under the African Emergency Food Production Facility to mitigate the effects of the external shocks and enable the government to meet the country’s food production for 2022 and 2023.

He further revealed that it is under the same facility that funds have been allocated to support the Ministry of Agriculture to formulate a National Fertiliser Policy and a strategy that would lay the ground on the way forward to implement the much-needed smart subsidy for fertiliser.

Also speaking at the launching ceremony, Rebecca Dadzie, a senior agribusiness officer, AfDB, reminded the gathering that the government of the Gambia has taken major steps in meeting food and nutritional security over the past few years, especially in the production of greens.

She added: “Everyone is suffering from the current Russia-Ukraine crisis and the government has not been left out which has caused an increase or hike in the price of input across the global market”.

“In response to the ongoing crisis, the African Development Bank set up an Africa Emergency Food Production Facility to support countries across the continent to ensure the continuous production of food and also with the provision of quality certified seeds and inputs for the smallholders to ensure the continuous production of food for the 2022 and 2023 season,” she revealed.

According to the senior agribusiness officer at AfDB, upon the request from the government of The Gambia, they had to intervene because The Gambia is a strategic partner for the AfDB which is why they had to step in to support the country to urgently meet its food production for 2022 and 2023.

Categorie: Gambia

Agric. minister Launches the African Emergency Food Production Facility

The Point - Gambia - Mar, 27/09/2022 - 12:28pm

The AEFPF is an additional financing that follows the joint meeting of the ministers of Agriculture and of Finance of the African Union on the African Emergency Food Production plan in which The Gambia participated.

Speaking at the launching ceremony, Dr. Sabally informed the gathering that the government of The Gambia is taking major strides to transform the Agriculture sector in addressing food security and meeting the nutritional needs of its people.

“Despite these efforts, The Gambia’s high dependence on imports for staple and key commodities has deepened the country’s vulnerability to external shocks such as the effect of Covid-19 and the impact of the Russia-Ukraine crisis on the food supply system” he stressed.

He elaborated that the AEFPF is the African Development Bank’s newly approved rapid response framework to address the food crisis and distribution of the supply of critical inputs for food production arising from the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Having been aware of the existence of this facility, Dr. Sabally stated that the government of The Gambia requested additional financing under the African Emergency Food Production Facility to mitigate the effects of the external shocks and enable the government to meet the country’s food production for 2022 and 2023.

He further revealed that it is under the same facility that funds have been allocated to support the Ministry of Agriculture to formulate a National Fertiliser Policy and a strategy that would lay the ground on the way forward to implement the much-needed smart subsidy for fertiliser.

Also speaking at the launching ceremony, Rebecca Dadzie, a senior agribusiness officer, AfDB, reminded the gathering that the government of the Gambia has taken major steps in meeting food and nutritional security over the past few years, especially in the production of greens.

She added: “Everyone is suffering from the current Russia-Ukraine crisis and the government has not been left out which has caused an increase or hike in the price of input across the global market”.

“In response to the ongoing crisis, the African Development Bank set up an Africa Emergency Food Production Facility to support countries across the continent to ensure the continuous production of food and also with the provision of quality certified seeds and inputs for the smallholders to ensure the continuous production of food for the 2022 and 2023 season,” she revealed.

According to the senior agribusiness officer at AfDB, upon the request from the government of The Gambia, they had to intervene because The Gambia is a strategic partner for the AfDB which is why they had to step in to support the country to urgently meet its food production for 2022 and 2023.

Categorie: Gambia

Sabach Sanjal NAM suggests allowance increment for low income earners

The Point - Gambia - Lun, 26/09/2022 - 1:24pm

“The 30% increase has only benefited people earning higher salaries and not low income earners,” he stated, and thus suggested for low income earners' allowances be increased to ensure they are able to cope in these hard times.

Sulayman Saho, the NAM for Central Badibu Constituency, said Technical and Vocational Educational Training (TVET) institutions should be wide spread across rural Gambia.

“Skills are making waves across the globe and The Gambia is no exception, but almost all training centers are based in regions 1 and 2. People in rural areas do not have access to TVET Institutions unless they migrate to the Kombo. They need to be considered and have these institutes in their regions to enhance them and contribute to national development,” he said.

Hon. Saho stated that names of youth and women are used in most cases to lobby for funds, but once the funds are available they (youth and women) are neglected.

He also said that the Ministry of Youth and Sports should be separated because they are two broad areas that should not be managed by one ministry.

He went on to say that the TRRC process should be completed.

“Perpetrators need to be punished in order for reconciliation to take place,” he pointed out.

Hon. Almameh Gibba, the NAM for Foni Kansala Constituency, said people in the rural Gambia hardly get access to quality western education, noting that TVET institutions should be made available to them to ensure they create employment for themselves and others.

Categorie: Gambia

Sabach Sanjal NAM suggests allowance increment for low income earners

The Point - Lun, 26/09/2022 - 1:24pm

“The 30% increase has only benefited people earning higher salaries and not low income earners,” he stated, and thus suggested for low income earners' allowances be increased to ensure they are able to cope in these hard times.

Sulayman Saho, the NAM for Central Badibu Constituency, said Technical and Vocational Educational Training (TVET) institutions should be wide spread across rural Gambia.

“Skills are making waves across the globe and The Gambia is no exception, but almost all training centers are based in regions 1 and 2. People in rural areas do not have access to TVET Institutions unless they migrate to the Kombo. They need to be considered and have these institutes in their regions to enhance them and contribute to national development,” he said.

Hon. Saho stated that names of youth and women are used in most cases to lobby for funds, but once the funds are available they (youth and women) are neglected.

He also said that the Ministry of Youth and Sports should be separated because they are two broad areas that should not be managed by one ministry.

He went on to say that the TRRC process should be completed.

“Perpetrators need to be punished in order for reconciliation to take place,” he pointed out.

Hon. Almameh Gibba, the NAM for Foni Kansala Constituency, said people in the rural Gambia hardly get access to quality western education, noting that TVET institutions should be made available to them to ensure they create employment for themselves and others.

Categorie: Gambia

GID concerns with allegation of ID card issuance at Majum

The Point - Lun, 26/09/2022 - 1:20pm

 

The leadership of the Gambia Immigration Department considers such allegation especially in a public space extremely sensitive and worrying, and therefore need to be accorded all the urgent attention it deserves. Thus the more reason the management sanctioned a swift probe into the matter.

Contrary to the allegation being peddled on the social media, the office of the Director General of Immigration wish to inform the public particularly those who expressed concern over the social media report that the said allegation is totally unfounded and malicious. We found it absolutely serious and premature for anyone to share such information with the public without an iota of proof.

While we encourage members of the public to desist from such practices, we affirm resolve to remain open and accessible to those interested in getting the facts about the GID and its related activities in accordance with law and best practices.

The office of the Director General of Immigration assures the public of its unwavering commitment to professionally executing its statutory mandate in the common interest of all sections of society at all time.

Categorie: Gambia

Yahya Jammeh’s host to run for sixth term, abolish death penalty 

The Point - Lun, 26/09/2022 - 1:19pm

Since the announcement, several European institutions have demanded a “free, fair and transparent election”. However, the country’s Parliament, dominated by his ruling party has already approved a bid to fast-forward the country’s 2023 election to November.  

Expectedly, the opposition has lodged “complaints and grievances” alleging that it is meant to deprive them the opportunity to “campaign properly in an already unlevelled political field”. 

Subsequently, the President’s opponents have only few weeks to meet the electorates prompting international observers to cry foul. 

But, regarding the death penalty, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has commended the country, noting that it was “incompatible with fundamental tenets of human rights and dignity”. 

Responding to The Point, a journalist in the capital, Malabo said: “Despite the fact that the government replied to the allegations indicating the change was “needed in a framework of major economic restriction and control…It never recognises the rights of the press, legal practitioners and the opposition…In a nutshell, the repression will continue...” 

President Teodoro, a former military officer who came to power since 1979 and currently hosting Yahya Jammeh despite international outcry to hand over the former Gambian dictator to face justice vehemently denied the allegations against him. 

However, right organisations including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International protested that “…corruption, poverty and repression continue to take place…vast oil revenues funds lavish lifestyles for the small elite surrounding the President…the population continues to live in poverty”. 

Right groups also denounced “…mismanagement of public funds with impunity…serious abuses including tortures, arbitrary detentions and unfair trials”. 

During our inquiries, this correspondent also hears that Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, the President’s son, who is also the Vice President will “take over from his father.” 

Few months ago, he was convicted on “various money laundering charges and embezzlement of public funds”. But despite the unprecedented verdict, the Vice President also denied all the accusations against him.

Categorie: Gambia

FactSpace launches crowdsourced content for promotion of unity, development

The Point - Lun, 26/09/2022 - 1:16pm

The production of the crowdsourced video and audio content was part of UNESCO’s component of the Peacebuilding Fund project entitled ‘Young Women and men as stakeholders in ensuring peaceful democratic processes and advocate for the prevention of violence and hate speech. The two-year project is jointly implemented by UNFPA, UNDP and UNESCO as part of efforts to enhance social cohesion and consolidation of democracy in the country.

Lamin Jahateh, project officer for UNESCO Gambia, explained that the production is a culmination of a series of initiatives UNESCO has been undertaking in the country to promote Media and Information Literacy (MIL) for young people. He said a total of 80 youth leaders from more than 40 youth organisations across the country were trained on MIL from last year to date.

“An additional training was organised for 20 organisations out of the 40 on mainstreaming MIL into policies and strategies. Thereafter, 10 organisations were supported to conduct step-down activities on MIL across the country.”

He added that acquiring MIL competencies allow individuals to confidently seek, critically evaluate and contribute to information online and offline. Mr Jahateh said that media and information competencies afford youth the know-how to participate ethically in public debate, and face and counter hate speech, disinformation and misinformation. 

Demba Kandeh, non-executive director of FactSpace, dwelling on young people peddling hate speech, stated that the online space is vast and full of information, adding that some are good but there are messages that are very toxic.

“There is a need to raise awareness among individuals, especially the young people in order to ensure that there is a level of awareness among the socio groups we are targeting; to make them understand that there are a lot of challenges and not everything they see on the internet is true information.”

He urges young people to pay attention to messages they receive on Whatsapp or Facebook, adding they have to stop, think and reflect on the news before sharing or acting on it.

“This is part of advocacy around media information and literacy and is a series of events. Research was done to identify the gaps and it needs some recommendations on what action is needed to be taken. Some of them include the training, engagement with young and civil society organisations, raising awareness and creating messages among young people.”

Rosette Gomez, a law student at the University of The Gambia, expressed delight, saying if young people are taught well, then they would lead well.

Dwelling on why hate speeches are trending among young people, she said “there are more people spreading fake news and hate speech instead of countering it.”

Sulayman Saye, a journalism student at the University, said that hate speech is something that needs to talk about, stating that it’s prevailing in our society.

On how to prevent the spread of hate speech, he suggested that “it should start at the children's level by teaching them to know the difference between positive and hate speech.”

Amongst other speakers include Muhammed S Bah, president of The Gambia Press Union.

Categorie: Gambia

Gambia ratifies 2001 UNESCO Convention on protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage

The Point - Lun, 26/09/2022 - 1:15pm

The Gambia joined UNESCO in 1971 and since then the Gambia has ratified four UNESCO Conventions with this latest ratification as the fifth.

In a three-hour debate, the members of parliament said by ratifying the convention, The Gambia would be able to protect its resources underwater cultural heritage including the wharfs, wells, and settlement that are along the River Gambia and Atlantic coast from Kartong to Koina.

The minister of Tourism and Culture, Hamat N.K. Bah gave a very passionate prayer on the ratification, saying the ratification would promote local and sustainable tourism, protection of our vast cultural heritage and also generate employment for the youth.

The parliamentarians together with the Minister Bah commended the good efforts done by the National Centre for Arts and Culture and all its stakeholders including the parliament select committee on arts culture and sports.

Reacting to this development, the director general of National Center for Arts Culture (NCAC), Hassoum Ceesay, described it as another milestone in Gambia’s efforts to protect its cultural heritage.

He said everything would be done to work with the UNESCO and stakeholders to make sure that the Gambia starts to reap the fruit of the convention such as capacity building in archeology in museum studies in underwater diving and also to make sure that the communities around the River Gambia have their sites fully protected and conserved to benefit them and the country.

Categorie: Gambia