Friday, January 13, 2017

GPU Press Release on Closure of Radio Stations

The Gambia Press Union (GPU) is deeply concerned by the current climate of fear in the Gambia media as the state continues to crackdown on journalists. We particularly condemn, in the strongest terms, the recent closure of four radio stations.

On Sunday, January 1, personnel of the National Intelligence Agency visited Taranga FM, Hill Top FM and Afri Radio FM, ordering them to stop transmission with immediate effect. A week later - Sunday January 8 - another private station, Paradise FM, was shut down on similar orders.

The Ministry of Information and Communication Infrastructure, has purportedly confirmed the revocation of the operating licenses of these radio stations. However, neither the Ministry nor the NIA gave any reasons for the closures.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Mauritania to benefit from US$21 million IFAD grant to boost food security, nutrition and reduce rural poverty

Michel Mordasini, Vice-President of IFAD
Rome, 12 January 2017 – A total of 285,600 farmers, particularly women and young people in six regions in southern Mauritania will benefit from a financial agreement signed today between the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Mauritania to improve their incomes, nutrition and food security.
The agreement for the Inclusive Value Chain Development Project (PRODEFI) was signed in Rome by Michel Mordasini, Vice-President of IFAD and Mariem Aouffa, Ambassador of Mauritania to Italy and Permanent Representative to Rome-based United Nations agencies.
The total cost of the project is US$45.2 million of which IFAD is providing a US$21 million grant including $6 million grant from the Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP) Trust Fund. It is co-financed by the national private sector ($2 million), the Government of Mauritania ($5 million) and by the beneficiaries themselves ($2.2 million). The remaining $15 million will be covered by other financing sources or by the next IFAD financing cycle for Mauritania (2019-2021).

President-elect Barrow welcomes Jammeh’s move to peaceful dialogue

President-elect Adama Barrow

The office of the president-elect Adama Barrow has welcomed the outgoing President Jammeh’s recent move calling for a peaceful dialogue with the coalition party, saying, ‘is done at the right time’.

This statement came after the incumbent gave a televised speech on Tuesday calling for peaceful dialogue and also appointing of Musa Jallow as Secretary General & Minister of Presidential Affairs and Mediator General between the APRC Government and the Coalition.

The office of the President-elect Barrow is of the view that dialogue is necessary to reach mutual understanding on the peaceful way forward.

His words: “The Office of the President Elect is now waiting for the initiatives of the Secretary General who is appointed Mediator General of the Government.” 

According to him, the decision to release those arrested in connection with political matters and the commitment not to effect new arrests are steps in the right direction.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Remarks by Ambassador C. Patricia Alsup on The Gambian Political Impasse

Ambassador Alsup
Ambassador Alsup made the following remarks at an American Citizens Town Hall Meeting on January 6, 2017. 
Ladies and gentlemen, it is a great honor for me to welcome you all to our Town Hall meeting for Americans in The Gambia.  Thank you all for being here this morning.   

Today we are on the verge of a great change in The Gambia.  As we all know all too well, there is currently an uncertain political environment in The Gambia.  We know that the uncertainty is making a lot of people uncomfortable, so we thought it would be useful for us to get together to talk about what the U.S. is doing and about what you can do to prepare for potential unrest and to keep yourselves safe. 

On December 1, 2016, incumbent President Yahya Jammeh lost the national election to the opposition candidate, Adama Barrow.  Although he initially conceded, President Jammeh has since publicly rejected the results and filed an appeal of the outcome, including a request for a new election with the Gambian Supreme Court.  In a meeting on December 17 in Abuja, The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) decided that if President Jammeh does not leave power at the end of his term on January 18, 2017, then ECOWAS will take all necessary actions to enforce the results of the Gambian elections, including a potential military intervention.

President Jammeh has called the ECOWAS decision to implement the December 1 election results illegal and a declaration of war.  He has also shut down three radio stations, and restricted broadcasting of a fourth, and there are widespread reports of politically motivated arrests.  On January 10, 2017, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear President Jammeh’s petition contesting election results, which is a potential flashpoint that could lead to civil unrest. 

Office of President-Elect Barrow calls on Gambians to attend January 19th Inauguration

Halifa Sallah Coalition Spokesperson
The office of the president-Elect, Adama Barrow has once again issued a statement calling for the general mobilization of the people to attend the inauguration ceremony on 19th January, 2017.
Giving an update on the country’s current political situation, the statement highlighted that the office of the president-elect stands by the principle that Adama Barrow’s Election as President of the Republic of The Gambia stands and as such is calling on Gambians to come out for the Inauguration.
It further adds that, “The status and outcome of an Election petition are unknown and indeterminable before the completion of any court process and should therefore be regarded as a peripheral issue which should not hamper any preparation for the inauguration.”


8th JANUARY 2017
The office of President Elect Barrow wishes to convey the assurance of its highest esteem to Ex–President John Dramani Mahama for demonstrating the political will to uphold the verdict of the Ghanaian people, after losing the 7th December 2016 pollsby handing over Executive power to President Nana Akufo Addo in a peaceful manner within the 30 day transition provided by the Ghanaian Constitution. This is the Democratic culture of peaceful transfer of Executive power that is being nurtured in the member states of ECOWAS.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

FAO gives over D4.7m worth of fishing gears to communities, Fisheries Department

Mrs Mariatou Njie,AFAOR and Head of Progs presenting items to 
Minister Pa Ousman Jarju(Photo credit: ©FAO/Amadou Bah)
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on 28 December handed over fishing gears worth over GMD4.7m to 12 communities and the Fisheries Department at a brief ceremony held in Banjul. The Minister of Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources Pa Ousman Jarju who presided over the event received the donation on behalf of the target beneficiaries.

The assistance comprises ten fishing boats (7 fibre and 3 wooden), ten 15 horse power (15HP) out board engines, fishing nets with accessories and life jackets for 10 communities and Fish catch assessment materials for the fisheries department procured by a two-year FAO Funded Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP).The ten beneficiary communities are Banjul, Old jeshwang, Tanji, Barra, Albreda, Bintang, Tendaba, Kanikunda, Wassu and Bwiam.  The communities of Bansang and Kemoto also received three fishing boats, three 15HP outboard engines, life jackets and fishing nets with accessories funded by FAO Tele-food projects.

Pulses are important food crops for addressing hunger, food security, malnutrition, environmental challenges and human health – saysDr. Perpetua Katepa-Kalala, FAO Representative in The Gambia


AUTHOR: BAJ Photo credit: ©FAO/Amadou Bah

Running under the slogan “nutritious seeds for a sustainable future”, the UN General Assembly declared2016 the International Year of Pulses (IYP) to raise awareness of the many benefits of pulses, boost their production and trade, and encourage new and smarter uses throughout the food chain.
In a symbolic gesture, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva planted a number of fava beans in a planter full of soil as he proclaimed the International Year opened on 10 November 2015 in Rome, Italy.
As part of activities marking the IYP, The FAO Representative in The Gambia, Dr. Perpetua Katepa-Kalala recently granted an interview to the Biodiversity Action Journalists (BAJ). She spoke extensively on the numerous benefits of pulses towards the attainment of the Agenda 2030. Below is the full interview: