Gambia: Good Morning Mr. President – On Appointments in the Foreign Services, Corruption and WASSCE Results

Mr. President, the appointment of Gambians in the foreign services should be based on competency, academic qualifications among others.

It’s so unfortunate that recently we have seen the appointment of people in the Foreign Service that one could clearly say it’s not based on the above listed criteria. The Foreign Service shouldn’t be the dumping site or places to reward party loyalists.

Mr. President, we remind you that Gambians who are appointed in the Foreign Service represent the interest of the country outside.

Therefore, those who are lucky to be appointed in the Foreign Service should be individuals who have good academic qualifications and have the experience and expertise to represent the country outside.

Mr. President, you can’t just appoint people in the Foreign Service just because they support you and your party and hence you want to compensate them. We need to graduate from these kinds of issues if we are really serious about moving this country to meet other developed countries with tangible infrastructural development among others.

Besides, creating all those unnecessary positions just to accommodate your loyalists is really sad. How much money is the government going to spend in the Foreign Services just to accommodate these appointees, some of whom have no knowledge or experience? In fact, one could even ask about the benefits these appointees are going to bring in the country.

Also, you should just not recall ambassadors, deputies and their staff at the same time. This is pretty expensive and costs our economy. After all, the ones replacing them are also going with financial burden. So please try to safeguard our economy because we are a poor country.

What you and your government should be focusing on is to cut expenditures in order to cater for other development needs but not increasing government budgets just for nothing. The world, including The Gambia is currently facing a lot of challenges as a result of the covid-19 and as well as the war between Russia and Ukraine. What should be the priority of your government is how to address these issues, control our economy, reduce inflation and develop the country.

Mr. President, we want to remind you that one of your campaign promises in the 2016 presidential election was to fight corruption in the country. Six years down the line, we still have no Anti-Corruption Bill. Again, only few individuals since 2017 to date have been brought to justice on corruption related issues.

This is not because corruption is not happening in the country, but because the system is not trying to fight corruption. If we want to develop this country, there should be zero tolerance to corruption related issues. Any individual (s) who is caught on corruption related activities; the person (s) shouldn’t only be prosecuted but should be banned for a certain number of years.

This would serve as a deterrent to others who intend to do the same. There should be no “Maslaha” in fighting corruption. Any individual (s) who are accused of corrupt practice, they should be investigated by an independent body and if found guilty, they should be dismissed and prosecuted.

Mr. President, another issue that your government should focus more on is the country’s education sector. This sector totally needs revamp. Recently, the West African Examination Council released this year’s WASSCE results with shocking news as results were not impressive.

Therefore, what you should do immediately when you return from your annual leave is to summon the Minister of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE) including his technocrats and discuss with them about what to do in order to improve our education sector. It’s high time that we bring back the “Common Entrance Examination” in our education sector.

This will help shape and prepare the students at the foundation level. Teachers should also be motivated to enable them deliver up to expectations or we risk having them in the private schools.

Finally Mr. President, The Gambia Police Force (GPF) should also redouble their efforts in fighting crime and its related issues in the country. The GPF should therefore focus more on Community Policing. This unit should really be funded. Community policing is key in fighting crime, drug related activities among other clandestine activities.

We also commend the GPF in making history by appointing the first female spokeswoman. Women need to be empowered and given opportunities to lead. We hope that other institutions in the country will emulate GPF. We also do hope that she will have a good, cordial working relationship with the media.

Good Day!

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