The year 2017 was a momentous one! A lot of achievements were registered in the previous year. We were able to do some great things and establish ourselves on the path of a democratic journey which will hopefully lead us to the ‘Promised Land’. In the case of our Dear Motherland the Gambia therefore, one can say that this was a successful year.
As we enter into the New Year 2018, it is important that we assess our achievements and our failures. We must know what we have achieved and what is left to be done. And, there is a lot more to be done. We must never be complacent because of our successes.
Among the numerous things we are to do is the review of the constitution. It is therefore hoped that during the course of the New Year, we will be able to review/redraft our constitution as the case may be. Whichever it is going to be, it is imperative that it is done as a matter of urgency. The constitution is the basis of any and all progress when it comes to democracy and development. We must base whatever we do on a firm legal footing which will be for one and all.
The economy is reported to be picking up. This is welcome news and must be strengthened in order to ensure that all Gambians see an improvement in their lives and livelihoods. With an improved economy, Gambians (especially the youths) will be able to find employment here at home so that we will curb the much talked about back way to Europe.
The stabilizing of the energy sector so that there will be constant supply of electricity and water is one way to seek improvement in the economy. A reliable and adequate supply of electricity will encourage investors and boast the local industry. This is a very important area on which the government needs to improve.
There should also be efforts to widen the already existing freedoms – freedom of expression, the press, and information, freedom to protest and manifest one’s dissatisfaction. These are crucial if we want to have an inclusive government and an open society. The government needs to listen to the people more and be more forthcoming when information is sought by the public.
It is necessary that government improves security in the country. No development can occur in the absence of peace and security. It is therefore hoped that the government will work assiduously to see that security is improved. If we have peace, then we can achieve anything we want.