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British college students visit The Standard

Over 25 college students and seven lecturers from Andover and Sparsholt College, England, who are on a cross campus trip to The Gambia visited The Standard newspaper offices on Friday.....

What happened to Banjul? My story (Part 1)

Banjul was never a beautiful city, but it had character and charm. The architecture was poor, but the atmosphere was magnificent. It was dark half the time at night (GUC), but it had a bright spirit. Banjul was fun! During the colonial era, Banjul was relatively clean and well maintained. The Board of Health (aka 'bodorfel') that was set up had strict health codes that were regularly enforced. Health inspectors routinely inspected homes, and fines were handed out to those who were found to be in violation. Inspectors were generally unforgiving, and that forced Waa Banjul to be on their “cleaning toes” at all times. Nervousness filled the air in every home, as home inspections drew near. Even drinking water stored in “ndals” were inspected, and the "kamas" too. The inspections were thorough and the sanctions were stiff. Waa Banjul definitely had a legitimate reason to be nervous......

Berkeley Rice on Momodou Moussa N’jie (Excerpts from Enter Gambia, Birth of an Improbable Nation)

There is one Gambian, who many feel is the richest man in the country today [1965]. His name is Alhadji Momodou Moussa N'jie. Although Mr N'jie can neither read nor write, he has amassed a fortune by simply doing well what hundreds of other Gambian traders do - buying and selling. Rumours abound in Bathurst about his dealings and the extent of his wealth, and one can always hear of his latest coup over a beer in the Atlantic lounge. His independence gift of US$2,800, though larger than that from many countries, startled no one. “Momodou,” as he is commonly known, appears frequently throughout the country, looking after his affairs. An up-river official says, “He extends credit to all the Serahulis in the provinces.” A bank official says, “He is used as a business agent by Gambians who haven't a clue about formal transactions.” I once saw him in the bank, assisting a Mauritanian cattleman from Senegal who spoke only Arabic. The dark-skinned Moor had piles of dirty Senegalese francs tied up in a piece of cloth, and Mr N'jie was helping him fill out some forms to transfer the money to an associate in Senegal.....

The Gambia Project (Part 1)

I have been thinking a lot lately about The Gambia, about the technological revolution and how it has impacted us, and the government's reaction to it. I have also been thinking a lot about our future as a country: where we are headed and how our generation is doing compared to others before it. And as I have pursued these two strands of thought I have found out that they are in fact intertwined, part of a larger tapestry that we weave together as a Nation. This essay is my attempt to set my thoughts down concerning both things....

On women’s liberation (Who is to decide how women should be liberated today? )

A prominent think-tank in Washington, DC recently hosted a conference on women's rights and democracy in the Middle East and North Africa. It was a worthy topic by all means. The tragedy is that this conference, without an exception, mostly lacked substance. In general, hollow activism, pomp, and chronic "cultural anatopism" (misattribution of a culture or cultural values) pervade all discussion of women's rights in the context of democratisation....

A tale of two soldiers – Mali’s past leaders called to account

As Mali embarks on a difficult period of national reconciliation and the rebuilding of a fractured state, two key figures from the recent past - former president Amadou Toumani Toure and General Amadou Haya Sanogo, who staged a coup in 2012 - are being asked to account for their actions. Amadou Toumani Touré, 65, is known to all as ATT. Often described as “the good soldier”, he was the head of the presidential guard and the Red Berets, an elite parachute regiment. ATT seized power on 26 March 1991 from then-president Moussa Traoré, after a period of mass demonstrations that were savagely repressed by the security forces.

Why do Western Media get Africa wrong

Yesterday I witnessed yet another twitter storm erupt over Western coverage of an African situation. A Guardian correspondent offered an analysis of the on-going crisis in South Sudan that, judging from the comments on the website, was well received outside South Sudan...

Is English a suitable official language for The Gambia?

Do you know that about 26 African countries, including The Gambia, use a foreign tongue – English, as their official language, even though these countries unavoidably use, officially or unofficially, indigenous languages as their national language(s) as the case maybe? To understand this case clearly, I think it is better to elucidate the differences between these two important concepts – official language and national language...

Reporting Africa: In defence of a critical debate

One cannot avoid being struck by the oddness of the idea of not just western journalists in Africa being in need of defending but defending from critical voices, argues Dersso [AFP]. Not unexpectedly, the tragic events in South Sudan and the Central African Republic received much attention in the mainstream international media. As much as it drew world attention to the plight of those affected by the conflicts in these countries, the nature of the coverage of such events also triggered a heated debate....

Building A Culture of Togetherness (part 1)

Expansion of learning space at Law Faculty and School of Medicine and Allied Health Science Yes, indeed, with the help of the Almighty Allah, construction of a 5 floor building in collaboration with Gamworks is almost completed and will be handed over in a few weeks time, Inshallah. I am sure you have noticed the new building near the mosque on the right hand side as you enter the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH) on top of the facilities and mechanical building area. We have constructed a new three-storey building from the ground up and two-storeys on top of the existing structure giving us 5 floors of much needed learning space for academic and clinical activities for our Medical and Allied Health Science students and faculty. We continue to be aggressive in our recruitment efforts for more medical faculty to strengthen the quality of learning. We have hired some of our medical graduates as future Medical Academics who will pursue postgraduate/terminal degrees in various specialties and return as full-time lecturers and researchers while serving the EFSTH as consultants....

Tanji Village Festival slated for weekend

Preparation for this year's cultural festival at the coastal village of Tanji are billed for this weekend, the organisers told The Standard. The village cultural festival is expected to showcase the cultural diversity of different tribes in Tanji and as well raise funds for the construction of a labour ward at the village health facility, Salifu Touray, chairman of the association, Wings for People in Development, the organisers of the festival said....

David Morley

Outgoing British Ambassador to The Gambia( part 2) In this sophomore edition of the re-launched The Diplomat, picking it up from where they left it last week, the outgoing British Ambassador to The Gambia granted anchor Sainey Darboe an exclusive interview in which he talks about a myriad of issues relating to Gambian-British relations......

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