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Thursday, January 21, 2021

Manifesto of Lamin Kaba Bajo

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Bajo attended Muslim High School and the University of Leicester, UK where he graduated with a master’s degree in diplomatic studies. 

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He joined the gendarmerie in 1984 and rose up to the rank of a captain and commander of the then Presidential Guards Corps.

He has served in various positions within the armed forces before being appointed as the Minister of Interior and member of the Armed Forces Ruling Council. He has also served as the Minister for Local Government and Lands, Religious Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Fisheries, Water Resources and National Assembly and Minister of Interior. 

He served in 1997 as the Secretary of State (Minister) for Youth and Sports and also chaired the Zone 11 Sports Minister’s Bureau in 1997/98.

Lamin Kaba Bajo is a seasoned diplomat who has served as ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to Saudi Arabia, with concurrent accreditation to Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Iran, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain and Jordan, ambassador Iran, Qatar, and Morocco with concurrent accreditation to Tunisia and Cyprus.

As a result of his hard work and dedication to duty he has been awarded by the Gambian Armed Forces, the General Service Medal, the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal and the Distinguished Service Medal. He is awarded with the Great Al Noot Award (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya), and the insignia of the Officer of the Republic of The Gambia (ORG). 

Lamin Kaba Bajo is one of the founding members of New Town United nawetaan team in Brikama in1988 that has competed in the third division qualifiers but did not succeed in qualifying. New Town United were the champions of the 2013 Brikama nawetaan. He was also a member of the then Justice Football team in Brikama which is now transformed to a social club. In 2012, as The Gambia’s ambassador to Morocco, he initiated the camping of the Female Scorpions with no cost to the government or the GFF (GFA) before travelling to the World Cup in Azerbaijan.  

Currently he is the president of KGI Football Club which is competing in the GFF second division league.

Lamin Kaba Bajo will bring to the job huge experience of distinguished professional service as a diplomat to the service of Gambian football.

 

Vision

To develop and promote a healthy football community in The Gambia, stabilise and improve the financial and administrative infrastructure of Gambian football and ensure better cooperation between the GFF and football stakeholders, the Gambia  Government, Caf and Fifa.

 

Mission

To unite, stabilise and sustain an upward trend in football development with key focus on qualifying Gambia for CAN and Fifa World Cup.

 

Key issues affecting Gambian football

i. Weak relationship with key stakeholders;

ii. Poor governance and weak management of football

iii. Inadequate funding and sponsorship

iv. Lack of proper football structure

v. Lack of structured programmes to promote grass root football

vi. Inadequate capacity of technicians

vii. Poor and inadequate infrastructure

 

Ways to address them 

To build a better relationship, trust and confidence with all stakeholders

i. Football family

ii. The government

iii. Caf and Fifa

iv. Clubs and allied associations

v. Business community

 

1.           Football calendar

To establish a synchronised football calendar that would permanently determine the beginning and closing of the football season. A well-structured calendar would enable the GFF, clubs and nawetaan centres to fit their programs and activities within the calendar. At the moment, the lack of a calendar hampers the administrative, technical and all aspects of football organisation.

2.         Training of technicians

To train a good number of technicians from 2015 – 2020 i.e. coaches, referees, administrators and medical personnel to enable us meet the challenges ahead. Technicians definitely require high level training both in the country and abroad. Enhancing the capacity of the technicians will be a priority for the GFF as a key factor in grass root development of football.

3.       Grass roots football

We will encourage, advocate for and implement more grass roots football which will improve competition, a better and expanded player pool for selection that will definitely increase and create better results. 

A. In collaboration with MoYS, MoBSE and the Schools Football Association, a national school football programme (boys and girls) i.e. lower basic, upper basic and senior secondary schools will be implemented in all the seven regions;

B. Youth football will be introduced to ensure and assist divisional clubs to have youth teams that will serve as a feeder to their senior teams;

C. Academies: All the academies will be required to register with the GFF and be regulated;

D. To scout young players (Europe, America, Africa etc) to add to the quality players pool of the country.

Such a well-structured youth football will immensely contribute to the nurturing of young players to pass through well-structured stages of development before reaching the first division. It will also address the football age problem and increase the quality pool of players for the national teams.

4.        Women’s football

We will promote, support and assist the development of women’s football with key focus on overcoming the social and cultural impediments that hinder the development of Women’s football and participation and also ensure women occupy administrative and technical positions of all aspects of football. 

5.         Players association

We will ensure and assist in the establishment of the players association as enshrined in the Gambia Football Federation Constitution.

6.                        League football

i. Regional league

To ensure a functional, proper and sustainable regional league in all the seven regions by 2016/17;

ii. To ensure a very organised and competitive first division and second division leagues (male and female).

7.                          Sponsorship

To ensure all programmes of the GFF are sponsored by making our football attractive and marketable.

8.                         Infrastructure

We will endeavour to develop a standard field in each of the regions at once for a level playing field and equality.

I. In collaboration with MoYS and GNOC to develop two football grounds during the period

II. To transform the Technical Training Centre to a School of Excellence for the training and camping of national teams, technicians and foreign national teams and clubs.

 

Kaba Bajo’s executive members;

Abdoulie ‘Star’ Jallow – First vice president: Gambia national team captain, founder of Gamtel FC; professional accountant and auditor. Born in Basse Santusu in 1954, ‘Star’ Jallow was team captain from Crab Island School to Gambia national team. He has had a long career with the senior national team (1972 to 1980). Known not only for his talent or leadership but his discipline both on and off the field, Jallow never received a red card in his career. A qualified and practising accountant and auditor, Jallow has a BA Hons in Accounting & Finance and worked in various capacities at Gamtel retiring this year as director of audit overseeing both Gamtel and Gamcel.

 

Ebou Faye – Second vice president: Born in Banjul and played football for Wesley Primary, Crab Island Secondary and Saint Augustine’s High School. He played in the second division at the age of 15 years for Kondorong before joining Blue Diamonds and Roots respectively. He played first division football for Wallidan, Roots, Hawks FC and Roda FC of Norway in the first division in the 1991/92 season. Ebou coached GPA FC from the third division to the second division. Ebou further coached GPA FC and Real de Banjul in the first division and Young Africans in the second division. He worked as a sports journalist for Radio 1 FM from 1994 to 1996 and has a diploma in freelance journalism. He has served as secretary general for the Gambia Coaching Association and is now the secretary general of the Banjul Sports Committee. Ebou is currently the team manager of Banjul United and the general manager of the Independence Stadium and Friendship Hotel. Ebou graduated from the South Bank University in England with a master’s degree in Development Studies.  

 

Martin Gomez – Third vice president: Schools and grass roots football administrator, sportsman, teacher and school principal, founder of Saints FC. Born in Mbankam Niumi in the NBR but brought up in Banjul, Kuntaur and Kombo Lamin, Martin Gomez is one of the leading promoters of schools and grass roots football in The Gambia. Martin is the president of the Schools Sport Association and founder and president of Saints FC, a third division team in Banjul. Many people call him the ‘New Father Gough’ of Gambian football. Martin has been a teacher since 1982 and the current principal of Saint Augustine’s Senior Secondary School. He holds a master’s degree in education and policy studies from the University of Bristol, UK.

 

Other members of the team are:

Alhagie Faye –     Retired international referee

Modou Jallow – Secretary general, North Bank Region Football Association

Mam Lisa Cham – West Coast Region

Sainabou Cham –   Banjul

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