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City of Banjul
Wednesday, June 23, 2021

One year on, taking stock

Twelve months on. It is time to do a self-assessment of our progress so far. We have learned the hard way that once you give room to autocratic rule it will take an uphill task to end it and return to democratic rule. We endured for so long the rule of one man, a one-man government.

We fought hard to end it but needless to say that it wasn’t easy. So we were able to end that and usher in a new leadership which was to end impunity. This was supposed to transform the country from one-man rule to democratic and participatory governance.

After one year, it is time to take stock. We have ended arbitrary arrests and the blatant disregard to the rule of law and have succeeded to some extent, in ensuring respect for individual rights and liberties. There is a huge improvement in the level of freedom of the Press and of expression. Citizens can now engage in the political discourse without fear of being arrested and incarcerated.

However, there is still a long way to go. The lack of a roadmap has hindered our transformation from a dictatorship to democracy. There seems to be no sense of direction and we see that many of the things that used to happen are still happening today. Citizens do not know what to expect next from their government and as such cannot participate fully in the development strides.

Thus, after one year in office, there is a need for a national discourse on what was envisioned in the change, has been achieved, what is left to do and what we are going to do about the problem (s). So, while celebrating one-year since we freed ourselves from the yoke of dictatorship, we should use this as an opportunity to take stick of our achievements and our failures. Then, we map out a way forward.

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