A new executive secretary has been appointed for the Senegalo-Gambian permanent secretariat.
He is Ambassador Fode Seck who replaces Paul Badji whose three-year term ended this month.
Seck, the new head of this Cape Point based Senegambia integration institution, has over 40 years of experience in diplomacy having started his career in 1976 when he served as head of bilateral division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Seck then rose to become permanent representative of Senegal at the UN and other international organizations in Geneva in addition to postings in Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Brazil and the former Soviet Union among other places.
Yesterday Seck was formally welcomed at a twin ceremony which also bade farewell to his predecessor Ambassador Paul Badji whose impressive and successful tenure was hailed by many government and other respected officials. Badji, who served Senegal as Ambassador at the UN and dozens of other countries, is one of the most decorated diplomats to come from Dakar.
In 1965, a Treaty of Association was signed between The Gambia and Senegal which outlined the areas of cooperation between the two countries and created a Permanent Secretariat responsible for the implementation of the Agreement.
It was agreed that the Permanent Secretariat would be based in Banjul and the head of the organisation – the Executive Secretary to be appointed by the two countries, would be provided by Senegal and by tacit agreement, his second in command would be a Gambian. The Secretariat, being an inter-governmental organisation, had the status of a diplomatic mission. Its first office was located opposite Atlantic Hotel on Marina Parade, in one of the imposing colonial buildings that used to serve as residences of the colonial officials.
The first Executive Secretary was Mr Seydina Oumar Sy. He was succeeded by Mr Ibra Degene Ka, followed by Mr Seydou Nourrou Ba and Mr. Pierre Diouf . In it later years Dodou Salla Taal , Paul Badji and now Fode Seck. The Gambian deputies who once served there included Mr. Hatib Janneh, Bakary Dabo, Ebou Taal, Hassum Ceesay, Ousman Othman, Omadi Diarra and Ebraima Manneh. And later years, Sheriff Abba Sanyang and Momodou Lamin Cham.