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‘Great Senegambia Debate’ advance team due in Banjul today

As part of preparations for the much-anticipated forum called to sensitise Senegalese and Gambian populace and government on the need for close integration of the people of the two nations, dubbed 'The Senegambia Debate', a high-powered delegation from Senegal led by renowned media consultant, subject specialist and proprietor of KYS-GROUP Yoro Dia, are expected in Banjul this evening to check on the arrangements....

What happened to Banjul? My story (Part 2)

It didn't take long after the sewage project was finished for the problem of pipe blockage, leakage and overflow to surface. The quality of the work was perfunctory at best (merci beaucoup SOBEA!). In constructing the sewage system, SOBEA used smaller pipes that were frequently choking and causing the system to overflow. Ultimately, the whole problem basically came down to lack of proper planning by the government. For a project of such magnitude, it is critical that the citizens are sensitised prior to commencing the project, and that reliable management and maintenance arrangements put in place to remove blockages, which are more frequent than with conventional sewerage.....

Our history was written by aliens – Juka Jabang

The executive director of the West Africa International School, WAIS, Mrs Juka Jabang, has told students gathered at the first annual edition of the 'African Heritage Week' that the history of the African continent “was written by aliens, non Africans.”...

Female circumcision will never die in Gambia (Lamin ‘ngansinbaa’ Amie Jallow vows)

Mrs Amie Jallow, the leading female circumciser 'ngansing baa' in Lamin and satellite villages, has told The Standard yesterday that she will never stop the practice of female circumcision and that it is a traditional cultural practice “that will never die in this land of The Gambia”....

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......

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.....

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...

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