“The Gambia is the closest English speaking West African country to the United States, geographically. In addition, The Gambia has a multi-party democratic form of government, an untapped economy, and vibrant free speech. Moreover, The Gambian Administration welcomes free markets, which are vital to the life blood of any country,’’ … Abdou Kalley
Is Kalley serious? Where has he been for the last decade? The only truth in that statement is the first sentence. Free speech in the Gambia huh… Reproduced below is an editorial in the Foroyaa newspaper. Compare their grievances with the rosy scenario Kalley is peddling to make a buck. Maybe it is time for the rest of us here to contact our congressional representatives to tell our side of the story. There is nothing wrong with been an enterpreneur; just don’t lie about the political and economic climate in the Gambia today.
Foroyaa Newspaper Burning Issues
WHO UNDERMINED THE TRADE SEASON?
THE DANGER OF NARROW NATIONALISM AND PERSONALISATION OF POWER!!
A nation is a collective property. It is governed through collective intelligence. The President, however, has told the nation that he has no adviser; that when he is alone in the night he seeks divine guidance to preside over the affairs of the nation. He even went as far as to say that the opposition did not want the farmers’ crops to be purchased. On the contrary, some opposition members challenged the Secretary of State for Agriculture to explain why they were so adamant in stopping even the small traders from purchasing groundnuts and had gone as far as to give monopoly to a single company to purchase groundnuts. The Secretary of State took the usual narrow nationalist posture of the APRC regime to criticize some so-called Indians who even owed the Central Bank 30 million as well as other banks just to purchase groundnuts with local capital. He gave the impression that Gamco has accounts in many banks and that it had full capacity to purchase the entire groundnut cro! p without any credit buying. He received applause at the National Assembly. FOROYAA, however, counseled over and over again on the dangers of monopoly capitalism. It called for the diversification of marketing outlet so that through competition the most efficient company would win the day. A self-righteous government, however, never listens. It never wants people to know the realistic advice its opponents are making. This is why it does not open up the public media to divergent views. Despite the promises of the Secretary of State for Agriculture the groundnut trade is in shambles. Many farmers could not celebrate their Tobaski feast with relative comfort. They are becoming more and more indebted. By the time their crops are purchased they would simply proceed to pay their loans.
FOROYAA is hundred percent sure that the alleged sacrificial lion did not render the APRC regime incapable of promoting the purchase of groundnuts nor would members of the opposition who would have to give more to feed their extended families wish for a poor harvest or bad trading season. The problem is poor planning and poor management of the groundnut sector. President Jammeh is heading toward his 12th year in office. If he leads a government which would spend over 300 million dalasi of Social Security money to purchase and refurbish a hotel but cannot create a basis for purchasing the main cash crop of the country they should be rightly accused of deliberate negligence of agriculture and deliberate attempt to throw dust in the eyes of the people. They are claiming that the opposition sacrifices lions and bulls to increase the hardships of the people so that they can fish political power out of the economic trouble waters. The government should own u! p to its demonstrated incapacity to solve the marketing problems of our agricultural producers and make honest attempts to engage in diverse consultation to seek for a solution.
Furthermore, the regime should open its eyes to the realities of today’s governance environment. Narrow nationalism is not the answer. The President cannot expect to be held in high esteem outside if he continues to hold the opposition, the press and other stakeholders in contempt and give the impression that any criticism against his regime is motivated by contempt for truth, progress and development. The APRC regime should wake up from its slumber. The world is moving. If it does not wake up it will be left behind.