Your ABC And 123 Of Gambian Political Economy

The piece by a season analyst will be a Series

Series by Sarjo Bayang

Understanding of relationship between the economy, politics and society is crucial to making those governing accountable to the general public as key stakeholders. Everyone is affected in vast ways about economic and political conditions of a country. This is true about Gambia also.

For that reason alone and much more, those who take up the crucial task of custody over public resources are under obligation to tell the rest of society how by use of resources the economic engine spins around. It does not stop there though. As the economic engine is set in functioning operation, exchange takes place involving money, material, and human capital combined in the process of wealth creation. In principle everyone must have fair share on account of even distribution any value added resulting from the combined use of resources that keeps a nation move on. The platform of that interplay is better known as economic superstructure.

Within time intervals any government of the day serves as custodian of public resources and by such occasion remains operator of the economic engine that spins around to keep the superstructure in functional motion.

Head of state and ruling party of the day can only be temporal custodian of public resources and not having any right to claim permanent ownership over what belongs to everyone. True accountability is not all about ensuring fair and even distribution of the public cake. Ruling party of the day must be accountable for promises made during elections and also when the head of government is sworn in to take up duty occasioned by official ceremony.

People outside of government constituting tax payers have a stake in governance and distribution of public resources. Everyone has equal rights to put those in charge of public resources under scrutiny. People are free to ask critical question in order to ascertain what is happening behind closed doors for those keeping custody of shared resources.

Political parties outside of government are in principle governments-in-waiting. They have both right and duty to scrutinise any sitting government of the day as way of safeguarding best public interest.

By equal measure, when any political party outside government wins election to take the task of governance they become responsible to the people and required to exercise full tolerance for critical questioning from the general public.

Is that what is happening in Gambia?  If not how do you hold accountable those keeping custody of public resources including president as chief custodian of rules, policy, regulations, finance, and human capital of the nation?  Are things being done the right way? How can things be done differently and much better for best shared interests of all stakeholders? Are people being consulted in matters of public affairs?  Does political power mean the office holder owns public resources?

These and other matters of pertinence to affairs of a state will be treated in series. Your reaction is welcome.


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