I humbly seek your kind indulgence to express my opinion on your interesting and enlightening newspaper on the upcoming great Senegambia Symposium scheduled to take place from May 31st to June 1st.
I am of the conviction that this symposium is indeed a right move and will greatly serve as a beacon of hope to bolster efforts aimed at further promoting the integration of The Gambia and Senegal. It is one of the regrettable consequences of colonialism, a system which led to the geographical segregation of Africa, that the citizens of the two countries who are actually one people were separated and condemned to using two different official languages both of which we inherited from our colonial masters.
The cultural connections between The Gambia and Senegal are so ingrained that anyone can notice that the two countries share a lot in common. History has taught us that the two countries were under the influence of two countries – Britain and France – that fiercely competed in perfecting the art of colonialism. These two countries extended their colonial tentacles and occupied land in places where they were aliens like Algeria, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Namibia just to name but a few.
However, it is very heart-warming that the people of both countries have realised that there is a need to deepen the level of integration between the two countries, which carries with it a great potential to be a model for the entire African continent.
Furthermore, as we look forward to hosting this momentous event, I would like to take this opportunity to call on all the people that will attend this very significant event to put particular emphasis on how integration could be achieved in different sectors for the greater interest of our the peoples of our two countries.
It is important for them to also address the routine border closures between the two countries which significantly hinder the promotion of trade and by extension integration between the two countries as a whole.
In the area of security, the Casamance conflict should equally be an issue of discussion on the table as instability in the Casamance may pose a threat to the security of the entire Senegambia region. As rightly put by the Senegalese president Macky Sall when he came to office in 2012, The Gambia and Guinea Bissau have a role to play in solving the Casamance crisis. This is a particularly cogent remark especially in the case of The Gambia given President Jammeh’s many peace initiatives since he came to power in 1994.
Finally, I wish all a very fruitful symposium and hope that integration will one day be a reality for the two countries.
Africa Liberation Day: A time to reflect and forge ahead
Please allow me space in your paper to belabor one of the greatest days of our struggle for the emancipation of the African people from the bondage of colonialism and imperialism.
This is the day when the continent was liberated from the shackles of colonial rule. This day has been set aside by our leaders for the celebration of the time when the collective awakening of the African people was achieved. The African spirit was rejuvenated and conscientised enough to free itself from all forms of exploitation, subjugation and marginalisation. This marks the period when we were rendered free from being what Frantz Fanon called the “wretched of the earth”.
It is a moment that calls for the African people to embrace and regain their lost glory for a more dignified and progressive life. It is a moment for us to reflect on the past, assess our current situation and further strive for the carving of a desirable destination for our people and our continent.
This day is not only meant to look at the great works of the past African leaders like Kwame Nkrumah, Nelson Mandela and Patrice Lumumba but also use it as an opportunity to strengthen our burning desire to emulate them. As Shakespeare wrote, “The world is a dancing stage where everyone comes and dances. If you dance well people clap for you”. The past leaders have done their part, so it is left for the present generation of Africans to play their part for the future ones to continue from there.
The moment has come for us to paddle our own canoe and navigate ourselves to the promised destination. This can only be achieved when we put aside our colonial differences and work towards carving a better life for our people. It is only then we can take control of our destiny, otherwise we will continue to be directed by aliens who have no knowledge of our history and starting point as a people. Liberating Africa far transcends mere lip-service and rhetoric but it calls for an action-oriented people who posses the vision of serving the continent in a patriotic and indefatigable manner. The game is ripe for change, and a momentous change for that matter.