The size of Mr Jawara’s fortune has attracted much public speculation over the years as the tycoon is self-effacing by nature. 

On Saturday, March 21, the government inaugurated the Basse-Sabi Highway, which has been renamed Basiru Jawara Highway. The man with the Midas touch himself was available to grace the occasion, but his daughter, Zainab, delivered a statement on behalf of the family. 

She described her father as a man of many firsts: “In 1962, Alhaji Bashiru’s first investment in The Gambia was to build a five-storey building by the renowned name of Adonis Hotel, a landmark still present in the city of Banjul, the first five-storey building in The Gambia.


“In 1966, he imported the first Mercedes Benz into The Gambia. In 1979, he bought Wadner Beach Hotel and became the first Gambian to enter the hotel industry at a time when hotels were predominantly owned by white expatriates. In 1982, he purchased a second, Fajara Hotel which boasts one of the largest and most lush grounds in The Gambia to date.

“Alhaji Bashiru’s vision as a Gambian hotelier paved the way for other Gambians to emulate. He is proud to boast that his staff, a receptionist, a cook and a waiter who worked with him for many years, are all today proud hotel owners.

“Alhaji Bashiru continued to trade in diamonds and became an international diamond dealer licensed to trade in various countries such as Botswana, Lesotho, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Switzerland, Antwerp, Belgium and Hatton Gardens in London.

“Alhaji Bashiru is today the proud owner of large real estate in The Gambia and has and continues to contribute to the Gambian economy through job creation and other investments.”

The inauguration and renaming ceremony was attended by the Speaker of the National Assembly, Abdoulie Bojang; cabinet ministers, the European Union charge d’affaires, Agnes Guillaud and other very important persons.