Dr. Ismaila Ceesay was a Senior Lecturer and the head of Political Science department at the University of The Gambia (UTG), where he taught undergraduate and postgraduate courses since 2010. He is the founder and current director of the MSc program in International Relations and Diplomacy at University of The Gambia. He has taught many courses in this program and supervised the Masters dissertation of many students.
Dr. Ceesay’s research interests include African politics, information and communications technology and the intersection of security and youth issues. He has authored numerous articles on these topics in peer reviewed journals and other esteemed publications such as ‘African Renaissance’, ‘African Foreign Affairs’ and the ‘African Election Series’ of the London School of Economics. Dr. Ceesay has led many international research projects as a consultant. In 2019 he was engaged as lead consultant for the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Stability and Addressing Root Causes of Irregular Migration and Displaced Persons in Africa’ project (EUTF for Africa) by Altai Consulting. He was also engaged as Consultant by the Peace Research Institute of Oslo (PRIO) as a researcher within the research project “The Impact of Security Force Assistance on State Fragility (SFAssist)”. In 2018, he co-led the Round 8 Afrobarometer perception survey in the Gambia. In 2013, he carried out extensive ethnographic research in the Gambia on youth, migration and livelihoods. He was an Erasmus+ visiting Professor at VUB University in Brussels, Belgium and the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.
Dr. Ceesay is also serving as a Country Expert for the Gambia for Varieties of Democracy (V- Dem). He is currently working with the University of Edinburgh’s School of Social and Political Science to implement the Scottish Funding Council funded project ‘Environmental activism and political transition in The Gambia’. He is also working with The Institute for European Studies at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel to implement the EU Funded H2020 project on migration participating as a member of the scientific board in the project proposal entitled “Bridges to assess the production and impact of migration narratives” (BRIDGES).
From 2006 to 2008, he was President of the Organisation of Gambians in Stockholm (OGIS) and President of the University of The Gambia Faculty and Staff Association (UTGFSA) from 2017-2019. Dr. Ceesay is also the initiator and founding member of the Citizens Alliance, a new political party in The Gambia. In 2017, he was awarded Outstanding Lecturer of the Year by the UTG Students’ Union and in 2019 he was awarded Most Influential Young Persons in West Africa by the Confederation of West African Youths in Sierra Leone. Dr. Ceesay was previously awarded the prestigious “Pan-African Humanitarian Award for Excellence in Social Leadership and Community Impact” by the Pan African Leadership and Entrepreneurship Development Centre (PALEDEC) in partnership in 2018 as well. In 2020, Dr. Ceesay was nominated for the Award of Eminent Peace Ambassador by the International Association of World Peace Advocates, (IAWPA), a global non-governmental organisation affiliated to the United Nations Global Compact.
Dr. Ceesay holds a PhD in African Studies from the University of Edinburgh. Born and raised in Kombo Brikama, he did his basic education at Brikama Primary School and secondary education at Albert Academy Secondary School in Freetown, Sierra Leone. As a multi-linguist, he speaks languages such as: English, Mandinka, Wollof, Swedish and Aku. Dr. Ceesay now lives in Salagi and he is married with three young daughters.
Dr. Ceesay is running for president because of his belief in the potential of and vision for The Gambia. He is inspired by his conviction that Gambians deserve the leadership and vision needed to ensure that our resources (human and natural) are harnessed to build a society based on social equity, compassion and solidarity. Together, we will ensure that every citizen irrespective of gender, ethnicity,
religion, socio-economic background, age, and ability will have access to quality and relevant education, quality and affordable healthcare, clean water, uninterrupted electricity and basic infrastructure to guarantee the dignity of all and the welfare of future generations.