Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Civil Society Groups, NGOS Brief Social Forum

NEWS BANJUL THE GAMBIA(MB)- Members of the steering committee of the social forum, the Gambia, on Tuesday 2 November 2010. Conveyed a meeting for civil societies NGOs and the media, at the Tango conference Hall on the Bertil Harding highway. The purpose of the meeting was to share with them some of the plans, which are being made, and also to solicit their full support and commitment to the planning process. Briefing the members of the civil society and NGOs, Amadou Taal chairman of the steering committee disclosed that, the Gambia Social forum and the Senegalese social forum are working together as co-hosts to this world event. According to Taal, it has now been agreed that a mini-social forum called the Senegambia social forum, to be held in Zinguichor from 25-27 November 2010.

Global Work Party on Climate Change a Success

NEWS BANJUL THE GAMBIA(MB)- Global Unification Gambia in partnership with Youth Alliance joined by youth groups, school children and others gathered at the Palma Rima Beach Hotel to celebrate the global work party on climate change.
The event was held on 10th October 2010 with the theme: “Re-thinking the Future”.
A large number of youth groups cleaned the beach, as part of the activities marking the event.
In his statemen delivered on the occasion, Ebrima S Dem the national representative Global Unification (GU) said the day is celebrated world-wide.
Mr. Dem hailed the youth organisations and school children for their active participation in the event.
He recognised the efforts of an American organisation called 350.org for their campaign on climate change, both in the US and other parts of the world.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Gambian Minister Advised To LDC Countries

NEWS BANJUL THE GAMBIA (MB)- The Gambia Minister for Forestry and the Environment Mr. Jatto S Sillah on the 10th November 2010 at the Paradise suites Hotel in Banjul, addresses participants on the regional preparatory workshop for climate change negotiations from least Development countries (LDC). The workshop came as a result of the preparation for the 16th conference of parties and 6th conference of parties acting as meeting of parties (COPMOP) to be held in cancum, Mexico, he says "you should make sure that you speak with one common voice loud and clear that will benefit our countries," he advised participants. He continued, “ you should ensure that the implementation of the two tracks continues from the first and second commitment period”.

Rural Women’s Celebration Calls for Investment

NEWS BANJUL THE GAMBIA (MB)- The government of the Gambia through the ministry of  Agriculture, the United Nations food and Agriculture organisation office in Banjul, and Action Aid International The Gambia (AAIG), join the rest of the international community to marked rural women’s day 16 October 2010. The celebration was marked in the forum of match past from Brikama community Radio Station to Brikama Senior School under the theme "Unite Against Hunger". 
Several banners and placards were used, most of which made an appeal to both government and international organisations. The messages reads: to end hunger support small holder women farmers’s. women farmers can end hunger, women farmers have the right to own and control land. Improve farming technology for women; can increase and reduce drudgety. 

Corruption A Major Problem To Economic Development- GIABA Report

NEWS BANJUL THE GAMBIA (MB)- The inter-governmental action group against money laundering in West Africa (GIABA) recently published a report entitle "On threat assessment of the money laundering and terrorist financing in West Africa", which has pointed out that corruption has long been a major problem across West Africa. It is a major predicate crime for money laundering due to both the frequency with which compacts occur and the aggregated sums of money involved, the report added that a senior source in a respected anti-corruption civil society organization. In Dakar estimated for instance that more than of all hundred funds in Senegal derives from corruption.

UNESCO’s Director-General condemns murder of Pakistani journalist Abdul Hameed Hayatan in Baluchistan

Abdul Hameed Hayatan
© Let Us Build Pakistan

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, has called on authorities to investigate the murder of Pakistani journalist Abdul Hameed Hayatan, whose body was found with gunshot wounds on 18 November outside of Turbat, in western Pakistan's Baluchistan province.
“I condemn the murder of Abdul Hameed Hayatan,” said Ms Bokova. “An act of violence on a journalist is not only a crime against the individual victim. It also represents an attack on freedom of expression, which is a fundamental right and a cornerstone of democratic society. I call on the authorities in Pakistan to spare no effort in investigating this murder and bringing the culprits to justice.”

GIABA Report Exposes Private Sector Fraud

NEWA BANJUL THE GAMBIA (MB)- According to a publication made by the inter-governmental Action group for money laundering in West Africa (GIABA), entitled "Report on theaf and terrorist financing in West Africa", has highlighted that the most notorious form of private sector fraud is advance the fraud, which is better known internationally as “419 fraud” after the relevant section of the Nigerian penal code. The report added that, other forms of fraud are frequent too, and ranges from sophisticated stock market frauds to counterfeiting of currency. The report noted that in fact present a particular threat to formal financial sector. Indeed, sources through out the region have noted that both the considerable individual sums commanded and the close proximity of fraudulent operations to the formal financial sector, can be highly disruptive.

Women Human Rights Defenders Meeting In Banjul

NEWS BANJUL THE GAMBIA(MB)- The meeting that will provide African women human rights defenders from across Africa, Asia and Latin America is underway at the Kairaba Beach Hotel. The meeting is schedule from 4-6 November 2010, the international service of human fights (ISHR), conecas Direitos Humanos, Africa Centre for Democracy and Human rights (ACDHRS), East Horn of African Human Rights Defenders Network (EHAHRDN) West African Human Rights Defenders Network (WAHRDN/ROADDH) and the Women Human Rights Defenders international coalition are hosting the meeting of women human rights defenders. 

Sunday, November 28, 2010


NEWS BANJUL THE GAMBIAAs world leaders, climate justice advocates and youth leaders are heading to the Mexican City of Cancun for the 16th session of the Conference of Parties better known as COP 16 to be held from the 29th November to 10th December 2010, our reporter caught with Mr. Ebrima Dem, an official youth participant at this conference, to give his view on the possible outcome of the climate negotiation.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Social Media - Over 40,000 Gambians on Facebook

NEWS BANJUL THE GAMBIA (MB)- As many as 40,000 Gambians are currently registered on the popular social networking website called Facebook, with a majority of them said to be young people from all walks of life in the country.
This figure was revealed during the Information Technology Association of the Gambia (ITAG) forum on 2 November 2010.

The forum supported by the West African Internet Governance Forum (WAIGF) was held at the Paradise Suites Hotel.

Poncelet Ileliji president of ITAG, and Gabriel Latjor Ndow, a private consultant, presented papers at the face-to-face forum, which was organised by ITAG in collaboration with WAIGF.

According to Ileliji, the number of Gambians on Facebook has caused great concern. He said many have been tying the knot through the web site, but that many marriages have also been divorced through Facebook.

He added that the social web site has made many office workers to be lazy in performing their duties, since they login to the web site during working hours in their offices.

“In fact, as early as 8 a.m. some office workers will be busy doing nothing, but only login to Facebook. Some cannot even attend to their customers during working hours, because of their attention given to the web site,” he stated.

The ITAG president further noted that, “if the trend is not given a uturn, it will greatly make many Gambians, especially the youths, to be too lazy at the office”.

He added that it is not proper for one to be browsing on such a social web site during working hours, and condemn the practice as a menace.

Mr. Ileliji further stated that due to the lack of an Internet policy in offices, with many requiring staff to be self-regulatory, the trend of such “nasty” act will continue.

He suggested that offices adopt Internet policies.

Adding his voice, Mr. Ndow agreed that many offices are seriously affected by the problem of staff logging in on Facebook and other social networking sites.

He also gave figures on the 2009 GSM subscribers in the Gambia.

Consultant Ndow said that, as at 2009, the GSM subscribers are as follows: Africell 636,000 which tops the list, followed by Gamcell 318,960, Qcell the latest GSM operator had 200,000 and Comium 145,000 subscribers in 2009.

He also gave the estimate of the percentage of the population with access to a computer in the country as follows: urban 7.71 percent and rural 1.06 percent.

The percentage of the population with access to the Internet, according to Mr. Ndow, is: urban 5.01 percent, and rural 0.24 percent.

The permanent secretary at the Ministry of Information and Communication technology, Jamal Micknas, officially declared the forum opened.

He said, among other things, that his ministry is looking into the challenges of the internet.

Mr. Micknas said that the ministry in collaboration with Gamtel signed a construction and maintenance agreement with the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine cable project.

The ACE project, he said, is geared towards addressing the issue of international bandwidth, and that access to the submarine cable will be through landing stations in the Gambia and other participating countries.

He also announced that Gamtel is embarking on implementing the Next Generation Network Project, to replace and upgrade the existing transmission network.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Spotlight On Increased Urbanisation In Africa

NEWS BANJUL, (MB)- While rapid population growth has had a significant impact on the
environment leading to increased pressures on the limited resources
and aggravating the problems of unemployment, the rate at which
urbanisation increases is causing a lot of strains on social services.
The increasing urbanisation is causing problems for the social
services in many parts of Africa, and has leads many countries to
rising of urban poverty. However, some outcomes are severe strains on
housing and health, water supplies as well as on the necessary
environment management in many parts of the continent. The worst
incidence of poverty of urban poverty can be spotted in many large
towns and cities in the region.
 Notwithstanding, it has been also documented that the HIV
prevalence rate is higher in growth centre. Also to be taking into
account is that a large number of migrants have settle in the urban
centres where there exists limited employment opportunities an social
It is suffice to say that many urban based youths in Africa are now
venturing into skilled jobs such as carpentry, welding, driving, and
tailoring just to name but a few. On the other side of the coin, those
without these skills can be found busy at car parks, struggling daily
to make ends meet. This is necessary for their day to day survival-
they cannot stay a day without some cash in their pockets. Their
situation has led to petty thefts in many busy areas in our large
towns and cities.
The urban youth unemployment rate is very in the continent, which the
problem has become burning issues for many nations. The problem of
youth unemployment in Africa is a cause that all of is aware of from
the top executive down to the playing children in our homes.
 However, for youths who are not academically oriented, like most of
our rural youths, travelling to Europe through the back way is one
outlet they have, and which they have been making use of. It is our
view that the solutions to the problem require, among others, taking
initiatives that are innovative for the youth folks.
 Again, from urbanisation and migration perspectives, one would find
out that internal migration is an important factor in the distribution
of population in The Gambia. In urban areas, there are strong
incentives for the rural-urban drift because of perceive available
opportunities such as employment. For the rural- urban migration, on
the other hand, has also caused scarcity of labour in some areas and
has at the same time increased the size of the non-food producers in
many part of Africa, particularly in urban areas.
 This trend has made farm lands in urban areas to be used for
residential purposes and for other physical infrastructure
development. Farm lands have been reduced in the wake of rapid
population growth resulting mainly from immigration. It is a hard fact
that in this urban population many young girls are sexually active,
which has leads to the prevalence of unwanted teenage pregnancies and
to baby dumping.
 The increased in population is also accompanied by a corresponding
increase in the amount of waste generated in the form of sewage and
solid waste which, if properly managed or disposed can create serious
health and environment problems. e.g. contamination of ground water
resources, among other problems. Thus, such rapid growth has
contributed to the present level of poverty in many countries in