The Gambia celebrates its 48th Independence Anniversary tomorrow Monday 18 February. The climax of the grand event to be held at the July 22 Square in Banjul is the President of the Republic Sheik Professor Alh Dr Yahya AJJ Jammeh’s traditional address to the nation as well as a march past by security services, schoolchildren and voluntary organizations. The Gambia’s independence from Britain in 1965 is one of the most compelling stories of post-colonial Africa. At a time when some British officials doubted the viability of an independent Gambia, due to its small size, and supposed lack of a viable economic and political base to support herself; the country proved skeptics wrong and went on to become one of the food baskets of West Africa, an island of peace and stability as well as a proud and dignified nation with an assertive foreign policy based on respect and mutual cooperation with all peace loving countries. In connection with this impressive event, the general public is being informed that President Macky Sall of the sister republic of Senegal will arrive in Banjul Monday morning to partake in the celebrations. Another invited dignitary President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea will arrive today at 5pm. People are urged to come out in their thousands to give the visiting presidents a rousing welcome.
The President Sheik Professor Alh Dr Yahya AJJ Jammeh has returned thanks to the Almighty Allah for granting us what he called the divine favor to celebrate our 48th Independence Anniversary. In a televised Independence eve address to the nation, the Gambian leader said the day depicts joy, optimism and a rekindled proud feeling of taking charge of our affairs and destiny. Commenting on the theme of the celebration “National Sovereignty and Patriotism in Nation Building”, Dr Jammeh noted that the right to self-determination was crucial to defending our national interests and the realization of our aspirations. The Gambian leader renewed his total commitment to nation building as well as to the defense of our independence and sovereignty. He said his government’s assertive socio-economic and political policies has for the past 18 years resulted to greater opportunities for Gambians and a remarkable improvement in people’s welfare. Professor Jammeh promised better days ahead for all Gambians. He called on all Gambians to remain dedicated to our culture and reject immoral foreign importations such as homosexuality. Dr Jammeh also promised to fight crime and all vices that retard progress. Whilst extending a hand of friendship and cooperation to all well-meaning and peace loving countries and international organizations he warned that those bent on undermining the country’s peace and stability will always fail. The President concluded by challenging all Gambians to reaffirm their responsibilities and work towards the continued progress of the motherland.
The Gambia Teachers Union Saturday celebrated its 76th anniversary at the Paradise Suits Hotel. The theme of the celebration was ‘’Enhanced Synergy: An Inevitable Necessity for our Unity’’. The day witnessed the renewal of a Memorandum of Partnership between the GTU and SUDES, a consortium of teacher unions in Senegal, geared towards the promotion of regional integration. Speaking at the event the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education Baboucarr Bouy called on the teachers to continue to foster cordial relations between themselves as well as with the ministry. Mr Bouy urged SUDES and GTU to share experiences to strengthen teachers’ welfare. The president Gambia Teachers Union Lamin Marong said teacher retention was a major concern for the union and challenged the teachers to continue to take up their responsibilities for the development of the education sector. The general secretary GTU Antoinette Corr Jack made similar remarks. The general manager GTU Credit Union Baboucar Joof praised GTU for establishing the credit union to look into teachers’ welfare. The Secretary General of SUDES Amadou Jawneh promised his union’s total commitment to the Memorandum of Partnership with the GTU.
The Gambia Red Cross Society recently concluded a HIV/ AIDS sensitization campaign on Stigma and discrimination in Brikama Kombo Central West Coast Region. The event characterized by a bicycle race from Bullock to Brikama was meant to remind the public about their roles in giving hope to those living with HIV/AIDS. Speaking at the event Lamin Camara of the Gambia Red Cross underscored the importance of the forum saying the society needs to be taught on HIV/AIDS transmission as lack of accurate information could lead to stigmatization and discrimination. His colleague Bai
Cham said the move was part of The Gambia’s efforts in the global fight against the disease.
The Biodiversity Conservation project was recently launched at Sare Musa Jarra West Lower River Region. The project is run by Freedom from Hunger Campaign (FFHC) and funded by the United Nations Development Programme under its Global Environmental Facility small grants programme. The Biodiversity Conservation project will assist four communities namely Sare Musa, Sare Biran, Sumbundu and Misira through the rehabilitation of two watersheds and also provide them with erosion control techniques. Deputy Governor Lower River Region Abou Njie commended the benefactors for their commitment to improving the lives of rural farmers and called on the beneficiaries to ensure that the project is sustainable. The Executive Director FFHC Alpha Khan said the project was geared towards improving the environment. FFHC Board Chairman Demba Manneh urged youths to participate fully in the project’s implementation.The Governor North Bank Region has underscored the need for communities and institutions to build partnerships with relevant departments in promoting the protection and regeneration of the forest. Lamin Queen Jammeh was speaking in Njaba Kunda during the final leg of the anti-bush fire campaign organized by the Agency for the Development of Women and Children in partnership with the Forestry Department. Governor Jammeh lauded the efforts of district authorities in complementing government’s development objectives to bring about sustainable livelihood and food security. He said raising the public’s awareness was crucial to helping communities take ownership of the forest. The Governor called on district authorities to be vigilant against bushfires and report cases to the forestry department. District Chiefs Alhagie Jagne of Central Baddibu and Fabala Kinteh of Lower Baddibu both assured of their commitment to the protection of the forest. Babanding Sanyang of the department of Forestry made similar remarks.