Allow me to say that it is high time we discussed the state of the economy and what to do to improve it. It is becoming well-known especially among our policymakers that in order to change the living condition of our people, we must have entrepreneurs of different interests and for this to happen, the importance of conducive environment of our businesses cannot be over-emphasised. It is true that the government has created the conducive environment for businesses to thrive but it does not stop at that. We have to have the right economic policies to spur more growth. Our economic experts are trying to ensure further progress in the national economy which is commendable. While there is no doubt that the technical functions of our economic actors will continue, it is noted that any progress must reflect the adoption of new technologies, transition from agriculture-based to industry-based economy, and general improvement in living standards. I must also add that economic development improves the quality of life by expanding the capacity of individuals, firms, and communities to maximise the use of their talents and skills to support innovation, lower transaction costs, and responsibly produce and trade valuable goods and services. This is why I really want to seize this opportunity to implore the government to embark on the journey of “more positive change” in all aspects of governance in order to improve the economic conditions of Gambians and eradicate extreme hunger and poverty in the land. We have what it takes to take our country to the next level of development. The opportunity that is presented is huge and it is high time we took advantage of it.
Plastic bag ban is right!
I want to use your medium, The Standard, to share my opinion on the recent announcement by the presidency that it is banning plastic bag use and importation in the country. The move is timely because it is coming at a time when our environment is being greatly threatened by indiscriminate use of plastic bags. We all know that it poses an existential threat to our already fragile ecosystem and presents an unwarranted environmental eyesore. Almost every market that you go today, you will see people carrying their shopping items in plastic bags. Right from food items to clothes to shoes, there is hardly any item that we do not use a plastic bag to carry and we care less about its numerous dangers. Plastic bags have been known to cause a lot of environmental damage. A single plastic bag can take up to 1000 years, to decay completely. This makes the bags stay in environments longer, in turn leading to great build-up on the natural landscape. In other words, the more plastic bags you use, the greater the chances of environmental damage. Also, plastic bags not only have adverse effects on our natural habitats, but have also been found to be responsible for the death of many animals, mainly on account of the suffocation encountered on eating them. Not only animals, infants and young children have also been reported to have lost their life, on account of plastic bags. Since plastic bags are thin and airtight as well, children often end up blocking their mouths and nostrils with them. In case they are not being monitored by an adult, this leads to suffocation and, in some cases, even death. Since plastic bags are not bio-degradable, the only way to get rid of them is to burn them up. Though lighting a match to them is easy, it has more than its fair share of disadvantages. The biggest of them is that smouldering plastics can release toxic fumes into the environment, in turn taking the air pollution to much higher levels. One of the main disadvantages of plastic bags is that they are not renewable. The reason behind this is that they are made of petrochemicals, a non-renewable source of energy. They can be recycled, but not as easily as paper bags. Plastic bags can last for as much as hundreds of years. In other words, long after you are no more, the plastic bag used by you will be in existence. This is the argument of most countries now and the fact that our government has decided to impose a ban on it deserves commendation.