Multiple Effects Of 22 Years Of Dictatorship

KansaikouBy Kansaikou Samateh

The Gambia is seriously at a cross-road with a multiple effect of dictatorial government. Gambians have become accustomed to executive misuse of power to such an extent that nothing seems to be working.

As a Gambian from Lower River Region (LRR), our people’s basic needs have been neglected by the government. The region has been abandoned in terms of development simply because its inhabitants don’t want to associate themselves or support a dictatorship. There is no good roads, no proper working school and the health facilities left to run down. In a nutshell, the general welfare of our people have been left to degenerate.

In the light of the health crisis, it pains me to learn that LRR now harbours the country’s highest number of people living with the HIV/Aids. Interestingly, the government is yet to explain why the region took over from the West Coast Region where President Jammeh’s frequent festivities have been attracting free sex.

The Gambia definitely needs a change of leadership. It looks like there is wind of change waiting to be blown in the air, as evidenced by the numerous calls in all corners of the country that it is about time the Jammeh dictatorship came to an end.

Gambians cannot forgive President Yahya Jammeh for introducing his discriminatory national development policy. Under the policy, opposition leaning regions like the LRR have been repeatedly denied development projects, which runs contrary to the President’s promise he took while taking oath of office. President Jammeh swore to execute his duties without fear, favour or ill will. He wants God to help him. But how can God help a person who has deliberately betrayed his own oath?

Mr. Jammeh has destroyed the country so much that it cannot be compared to its immediate neighbour. Unlike the Gambia, Senegalese citizens have their political or civic rights guaranteed by their government. But that is not the case in the Gambia where being in the opposition often invites punishments: detention without trial, disappearance or even extra-judicial killing. Detention without trial has become so rampant that it is hard to compile a lit of families going through the daily pains of not knowing The list of Gambians arrested and detained without access to due process is still a pain to many families. The continued illegal detention of the three Imams paints a perfect picture of how one person preys on innocent people. These pillars of their communities have had their constitutional rights infringed for more than three months.

Comparable evidence between the Gambia and Senegal, our closest neighbours reveal that, the Gambia is sinking which is why we must all encourage our people to rally behind the opposition and get rid of a government that has and continues to make life difficult for Gambians and no Gambians.

Gambia is losing heavily on even tourism our main source of revenues to our economy.

The European unions, AU, U.S state department have all left the plight of Gambians to themselves. The repression for 21 years without any external mediation or intervention has reached the pinnacle of hopelessness for Gambian citizens.

The exiled number of Gambians is rising, with the number of our refugees in Senegal reaching crisis point. The AU and ECOWAS need to mediate and stop the suffocation of people in this small densely populated country like the Gambia.

The electioneering is looking to be a potential conflict situation. The agitations within the population have the potentials to boil over. President Jammeh like other dictators cannot be part of any future peaceful solution to the Gambian citizens. He has polluted the intercommunity relations, he has betrayed his once closed allies, he has jailed innocent citizens, and many others fled the jurisdictions of the Gambia.

I called on the international community to work with civil society and the opposition in ending this silent human rights abuses. As a supporter of the main opposition party, many of our supporters are barred from holding jobs, victimised on many grounds. And the rest of the opposition supporters hide their belongings due to potential problems.

This year 2016 is a crucial year for every Gambian citizen. All of them want an end to the Jammeh  dictatorship that feeds and breeds on impunity. Gambians should all stand firm, add their voices and call for President Jammeh to leave office.



  1. With all due respect, I would like to ask Mr. Kansaikou Samateh a few questions before taking any further comment on his evaluation, regarding the HIV pandemic within the Lower River Region, according to him.

    Question number 1:- Mr. Samateh; “Are you a medical practitioner?
    Question number 2:- How many HIV patients within the LRR did you contact, and what were they complaining to you?
    Question number 3:- When did you find out these huge numbers of HIV patients in the LRR?
    Question number 4:- Have you ever conducted any medica research over this issue before writing?

    We may help to request medical advisers to go to LRR and make a research, but we need the names of the HIV patients and their location within the Lower River Region, and be assured that, everything will be confidential.

    • There is a department called ministry of health which deals with disease prevalence in the country. You can also find the statistics on any disease in the country through this ministry. There are international organizations such as WHO, MRC or even national organizations that deal with Hiv and AIDS prevalence in the country. Such information are readily available to everyone. You can also find information on AIDS at department of central statistics in The Gambia. So there are many research organizations where you can get information on HIV and AIDS prevalence in The Gambia. You don’t need to be a medical practitioner or conduct personal research to get such information on AIDS In The Gambia. In the medical practice, there is a universal medical ethic which support privacy and confidentiality of patient information which needs to be respected but in the case of Gambia it is very limited because patient’s health information are exposed in every Bantaba for people to know.
      People in LRR and rest of the country need to vote out Jammeh’s regime to reverse this trend of AIDS. It is Jammeh’s policy that those who didn’t support him, won’t get any development. In fact he didn’t bring any development at all in the country except misery, division, HIV and AIDS, terror and human rights abuse.

  2. Mr Samateh all that you said is all true. In fact even those that vote for Jammeh are not better off either. When the rainy season comes all Gambians all over the country swim on dirty swampy tar roads from Banjul to Koina. Mosquitoes do not spare the APRC regions. The lack of medicine and equipments in hospitals kills APRC militants no matter how much green color clothes they wear. Electricity blackout and water shortage have no APRC flag distinction. The rising consumer market prices have no party preferential treatment. etc etc.. The fondamental difference between US and the APRC is they prefer going to Kanilai and have endless sexy parties, compete on lying to people and plot against those of us that tell truth to power and most importantly plot as to how to reap off the meagre resources of the tax payers and the business community and how to steal elections.
    In other words a few handful APRC big wig enjoy the rip off whiles their helpless lazy supporters prefer slavery.
    Have a nice weekend.

    • Very good observations about the effect of Jammeh’s maladministration…Apart from the few at the top, their families, friends and relatives, everyone feels the hardship…whether you are Green, Yellow, Blue, Brown or White…

      That is why party militancy or membership should not be the overriding factor to political choice because when it (that choice) goes wrong, everyone feels the consequences alike…

      Opposition strong holds have nothing really to envy APRC strong holds because there is no sustainable development taking place anywhere… The scattered and unrelated development projects that were embarked upon at the dawn of the coup in 1994, are gradually falling into dilapidation and disrepair, due to lack of maintenance and funds…

      The rapid spate of project construction we witnessed during the same period is no longer possible, because not only is our credit worthiness (a situation that was inherited from the PPP) in doubt, making it harder to access loans, our biggest benefactors and sponsors have either abandoned us (Gaddafi, for example, before he fell), can no longer satisfy the regime’s unquenchable hunger for cash (Taiwan for example) or have to curtail their activities due to international interest and strict monitoring of criminal and criminally related activities (Babanding Sisoko & South American and African drug and other contra-band dealers)..

      We need an effective strategy to end this madness democratically, and commence the task of rebuilding and strengthening our structures and systems of government, without anyone unduly profiting from our misfortunes, to maneuver themselves into power for another 20/30 years, with little or no real changes to the people’s circumstances..

      We must guard against that (change for its sake) but many seem desperate and heedless and that should of concern..

      • Bax, if you are not happy with status quo, why not simply join those who are the majority and have good policy and proven record to move the country in the right direction. How can you evaluate the change that has not taken? How do you know that pdois government will not be autocratic government if we go by your standard of calling for change? So do you believe that anyone other than the mighty Mr Sallah is not good enough for our country? Please if you calling for change, do not engage in hypothetical statements. Jammeh is a disaster and a disgrace but many people didn’t see that coming because he lied to Gambian people. Even though he was a criminal when he came, majority supported him. Gambian people has given Chance to a criminal to destroy our country, those of us who knew he was a criminal, they didn’t listen to us. Today everyone is facing the consequences including the security forces who helped him to oppress our people. Each of these opposition leaders are far better than Jammeh in every aspect. Therefore join the majority with good ideas so that we can move the country in the right direction. PDOIs will never ever win presidential election in The Gambia unless Jammeh hand them victory.

        • Max….

          (1)…No party should be asked to join another….Rather, all should come together as partners, to give the opposition a better fighting chance…After all, alliances are about putting resources together to address particular challenges: not about one being “swallowed” by another, unless that is the preferred and agreed option..

          Pragmatism, flexibility and compromise are all desirable and I am convinced that PDOIS has shown to be all three: pragmatic, flexible and willing to compromise, and they are amongst the parties that have compromised to build a coalition.

          This fact becomes evident when we reverse the clock to the period immediately preceeding any alliance talks…What we find then is separate and independent parties with all their party paraphernalia intact: Colour, Motto, Flag, Policies, constitution, and to a lesser degree, share of votes…

          Suppose each party comes to the alliance negotiations table with a suitcase full of party paraphernalia, and after exhausting and unfruitful talks, we (the people) decided to call each to a hearing to find out their alliance proposal and gauge this against what they brought to the table to establish what each has compromised…Remember, “compromise” is willingness to make concessions to reach an agreement..

          When we scrutinise each party’s “suitcase”, we find it full with their stuff…So let’s “grill” PDOIS first…We know they proposed a non-partisan alliance with its own “paraphernalia.. ” After our session with PDOIS, we must establish, beyond any doubt, that they have made the following concessions:-

          PDOIS came with the following, none of which is featured in their alliance proposal/format…Flag, Colour, Motto, Socialist Policies and since their share of votes is not being dangled before anyone, we can also view that as a concession…

          Our conclusion must be that PDOIS is willing to compromise to get an alliance…

          Let’s “grill” the UDP next….We know they have proposed a party led alliance, and after our session with them, we must establish, beyond any doubt, that they have made no concessions from their “suitcase”..

          They came with their Flag, Colour, Motto, Policies and since they are dangling their share of votes before all, that too must be viewed as content of suitcase and when we look at their proposal, we find that each of their “stuff” is also featured in it.

          Our conclusion must be that the UDP has not made any concessions and therfore, is unwilling to compromise to get an alliance..

          So next time you want to talk about “compromise”, try and establish the facts of who made concessions to reach an agreement…

          (2)…Mortal beings are incapable of predicting the future, especially in relation to behaviour of humans, with absolute certainty, but we can use our past and present experience of the individual, to make a reasonable assessment of what they will do in the future…

          My experience of PDOIS : what they stand for; how they conduct themselves; and how they want to do business in office, has convinced me that they will honour their pledges and fulfil their promises to the best of their ability..

          It is the same way you champion the cause of the UDP here…You have convinced yourself that they are the best alternative, but how do you know they too won’t be autocratic in government…

          There should be a bigger concern about the UDP becoming “autocratic” than PDOIS, given the fact that part of their “DNA” is from the PPP, which has presided over an automatic system of government, for.threre decades, where absolute power resides in one person, the president, though he has not used it to abuse anybody…

          Let’s remind ourselves that “Autocracy” is a system of government where absolute power resides in one person, regardless of whether that power was used to abuse people or not…

          (3)…Which party has (good policy and ) proven record to move the country forward amongst the opposition..As far as we know, none has ever been in government, so where is the proven record of the UDP you are claiming here..? I would like to know..

          You are entitled to your opinion about UDP having the best policies, but without backing that up with irrefutable proof and examples, it should be seen as just empty talk…

          Pragmatism is about the logical, reasonable, practical and realistic approach to problem solving…An approach to problem solving cannot be pragmatic and realistic unless all the elements are within your domain of control or influence…

          When we examine the messages coming from both UDP and PDOIS, we discover that they both view the Private Sector as important partners in our development, but their approaches to influence the private sector’s role in this process, is completely different, and quite remarkably so too..


    • Deyda, please stop barking, the Dog barks. You know exactly what I was asking the young man, regarding his claimed that, the Lower River Region had the most percentage of HIV patients throughout the Gambia? And I simply asked Mr. Samateh to come out and verify his claim to the people of LRR, and someone like you and your friend hiding in your little holes throwing stones at anyone passing by, telling me about MRC-WHO? As I have said to you earlier, your articles are always full of nonsenses. Regarding Yaya Jammeh, the true sons and daughters of the Gambia are making every effort to remove Yaya Jammeh peacefully or any other way of his choice! The Gambia belongs to the Gambians only!
      Please rest in peace..

      • What’s wrong with Yankuba Jobe ???? read my comment again…
        Maybe Marx snatched your

        • I have read your comment carefully Deyda, and well noted! Here is a piece of your comment. “Deyda wrote; [ Mr Samateh all that you said is all true] I have never heard of any death related to HIV Aids within the Lower River Region.

          Rest in peace!

        • Deyda Haidara,don’t mind Yankuba . Lol . I did tried to educate Yankuba Jobe about the various organizations or institutions where he can find the statistics of HIV and AIDS in The Gambia but he is not taking note. He want mr samateh to verify the statistics . Since Yankuba Jobe is from LRR , he has again taken issue with the statistics of HIV and AIDS in that region . I can’t stop laughing when he raised so many questions and he even want to request medical advisers to go to LRR for a research . Lol .
          Yankuba Jobe , once again I want to tell you that the statistics mr samateh referred to , is readily available and it has been verified and published in various research articles or reports such as ministry of health report on HIV and AIDS prevalence in The Gambia , world health organizations , or medical Research Council ( MRC) . So please I will encourage you to do little bit research . If you read Gambian newspapers extensively , you may be lucky to find this statistics about Aids at LRR . Mr Samateh’s article is not about any attack on the people of LRR , it simply informed us the negligence and useless government we have in The Gambia. The Jammeh’s government which refused and incapable to provide adequate and quality health care to all Gambians .

  3. JAmmeh is a disgrace and a tragedy…..

  4. It’s the politicians who can help kidnap this Murderous kanilai Idolatrous yaya Lucifer bloodlessly, by prepared to each move bit of ground, to muster alliance for salvage liberation of Gambia, come election….

    The extent of damage, dilapidation, oppressions & murder in our homeland, ISN’T sustainable beyond the election period; WARRANTING plan B executions, beyond that point…..

    Anybody, yes, I mean ANY of those opposition politicians, are loads better than the kanilai Idol Worshipping Murderer yaya jammeh….

    Personal, & or partisan interests, MUSTN’T override collective communal interests; our pleas MUSTN’T fall on deaf ears….

    Our opposition politicians & leaders in particular, MUST grab this opportunity for us all in unison; NO particular party can do it alone; we NEED all hands together…

  5. Max…It would be great to continue the discussions on.policies here because our page is moving further away by the day…

    Anyway, just a quick few points….”Ideologue”, has got several meanings….Ideologue could be:

    (1)…showing strong belief in, and be guided by, an ideology…
    (2)…blind partisan adherence to an ideology…
    (3)…idealist or theorist

    I would assume that you mean. (2) & (3) since that’s how you see PDOIS and those who agree with them…

    “Ideology” is defined as ” a system of ideas and ideals, especially forming the basis of economic theory or policy”…In that case, every party must have or subscribe to an ideology because all the world’s great political and economic systems are ideologies…Capitalism, Socialism, Communism, Liberalism, Democracy, etc, are all ideologies… All politicians and their followers would qualify to be called “ideologues”, if we go by (1)..

    PDOIS followers cannot be “blind partisan adherents” because PDOIS uses its platform to talk about its policies, programmes and how it will implement them…Those who follow them know what they are all about…They cannot be blind followers…

    The “blind followers”, the real ideologues, if we go by (2), are the ones who follow parties that don’t say much about what they will do, but have a.lot to say about Yaya Jammeh and what he did or didn’t do.. (as if the whole world is not witnessing that)

    “Idealists” are those who promise “heaven on earth” without saying how to achieve it…Is PDOIS an idealist party or is UDP an idealist party..?

    Let’s find out…. (to be continued )

  6. Continuation of (3)…

    The UDP, in their own words, stated :

    ” 3:4. Private Sector

    UDP fully recognises the potentials of the sector as an engine for growth. We shall support and encourage their activities through the provision of an enabling environment with minimum government intervention and interference.

    In view of its pivotal role in the socio-economic development of this nation, the growth and development of the private sector shall be an essential and integral component of our overall economic policy.”

    The UDP identified what it needs to do to create this enabling environment and this involves consultations, reviews, capacity building and encouragement through incentives, like tax revision or abolition, such as the “Bore hole” tax of D50,000 (then)..

    The UDP indicated the direction they would take in government, thus :

    @UDP Manifesto….”The Gambia successfully implemented a number of bold macro-economic policies in the latter half of the 1980s that have released the productive sectors of the economy from the crippling control of the Government. The liberalization of the economy and the encouragement of private sector development constituted a necessary first step on the road to macro-economic policy reforms already undertaken with the support of the World Bank and IMF.”

    Let’s remind ourselves that government (PPP) used to run very successful public corporations, which at their height in the 70’s and parts of the 80’s, were generating resources and providing employment and other economic and financial activities, to many. .These included the National Trading Corporation (NTC), Gambia Produce and Marketing Board (GPMB), Gambia River Transport (GRT), Gambia Public Transport Corporation (GPTC), Gambia Commercial and Development Bank (GCDB), Livestock Marketing Board (LMB) etc, (just to name a few). The failure of these corporations was not due to the “crippling control of government, but rather, the non control that allowed graft, corruption and mismanagement to drive, once successful entities, into total bankruptcy..

    The 1980’s, if you recall, was the period when the ERP (Economic Recovery Programme) was launched…For many, it was a period of job losses, public service cuts, sale of public assets, confiscation of farmers’ tools and stringent tax collection measures : all that extra cash can be found, not to invest in the economy, but to honour debt servicing obligations, so that credit worthiness can be guaranteed, in order to access more loans…

    To refer to those cruel policies as a success story should indicate to Gambians what to expect from a UDP Government, if it succeeds the incumbent, in light of the Gambia’s “lost” economy under the APRC… PPP ” lost” it aroumd the mid 70’s- to early 80’s and tried to recover it without success…Would the UDP “recover” it after the APRC..? Not according to what we have seen and heard from them so far, though you have a different opinion that is based on nothing tangible, as far as you have shown…

    The idea one gets is that the Private Sector friendly environment that is envisaged by the UDP, as indeed the PPP, is one that targets foreign investors, and since these Neoliberalism ideologues are obsessed with private sector led development, they become completely helpless and clueless, when that private sector is not forthcoming, due to absence of foreign direct investment and/ or investors…

    Furthermore, any development model based on factors that are outside of the domain of control or influence, as foreign investors are, cannot be a PRAGMATIC one…


  7. PDOIS, like the UDP, also recognises the importance of the private sector and intends to tap into its potentials to achieve its economic aims, but in a completely different way…

    PDOIS opts for what it calls, a “Balanced and Proportionate Economic Development” strategy, and in its own words, stated :


    That a balanced and proportionate development of the economy will be pursued by aligning :

    (1)…sovereign national wealth from public financial institutions with public sector investment and development;

    (2)…private financial institutions  which  trade in foreign currency to the tune of 1.6 million dollars per annum will be twinned with private sector  investment and development,

    (3)…Cooperative banks and other financial institutions  will be linked to  all cooperative ventures in agricultural production, processing and  marketing ;

    (4)…micro credit financial institutions  will take the characteristics of cooperative banks and  be connected  to  informal sector production and marketing activities.” (The numbering is my own addition for simplicity)

    As you can see, PDOIS intends to bring back public enterprises, which will sign performance contracts with government mentioned in other PDOIS messages, and the wealth generated would be used to invest in foreign bonds, for example, to boost our foreign reserves;

    PDOIS having recognised the volume of financial activity in the private financial institutions in.the country (1.6Million per annum), plans to align that with the private sector to generate investment and development…

    PDOIS, having also recognised the economic power of the diaspora,( 1.7Billion Dalasis per annum) plans to harness that potential to create partnership between the local financial institutions, businesses, home based individuals and diaspora investors by establishing a stock exchange…

    In this way, Gambian investors at home and in the diaspora can invest in stocks, hold shares and cooperate with other share holders to develop private sector investment in the country and perhaps, abroad…

    Hence, with a Public-Private Partnership Approach to development, you have essentially overcome the first and most crucial barrier to a pragmatic, sustainable development strategy : total control and influence over the elements necessary for development…

    Though Neoliberal ideologues may dismiss such model as unworkable, idealistic or whatever coinage they can find, it is clear that it is.a.Reasonable, Logical and Realistic Approach and that is what is called, PRAGMATISM …

    You don’t build your country by reliance on foreign investment because they often, never arrive for dependent capitalist economies that have no natural resources…We have waited for them all our natural lives, without them arriving and there is no guarantee that they will arrive when the UDP gets into office…

    Finally, I am solely responsible for the information I provided and its interpretation from my own limited understanding of the two parties’ positions, but my understanding may not necessarily represent their positions….I do apologise for any misrepresentation..

    • Bax , pdois economic development policy you just described above is simply a “government take over policy ” which will discourage enterpreneurism , innovations, private sector growth and economic empowerment of citizens . This is because any private sector alignment with the government simply means the government will control economic activities of the country , hence this will lead The Gambia into communist state or socialism. There cannot be any meaningful partnership between the private and public sector without the government control of private sector . Example , The Gambia government influence on Gamtel has resulted to near collapse of this institution . Jammeh depend on Gamtel for his corrupt practices . The public- private development economic policy is very dangerous policy in this 21 century . In other words , every business will have a government control or influence and individual citizens will not have absolute power to conduct their business . The rich people , private citizens and investors will be forced to have unwilling partnerships with the public sector ( government control institutions ) resulting to massive corruption , welfare state , and lazy population . Imagine how this will contribute to already dependency problem we have in the country because it will encourage laziness among the population . Public corporations are never respected in The Gambia because the laws are not enforce and no one take personal responsibility when things are wrong . You have mentioned massive failures of public corporations in the first republic and I think these failures were due to incompetent government policy resulting to corruption and mismanagement of public corporations . When we have too much government influences in our lives such as in financial affairs or businesses/ economic activities , they become more powerful than individual citizen . The powerful government will lead to political corruption and tyrannical government like the one we currently have . But when we have private sector based economic policy , it will encourage enterpreneurism , innovations, competitions , job growth and economic empowerment of citizen . Economic empowerment of citizens means there will be less government influences in our lives , less bureaucracy , and less powerful nature of politicians who make economic decisions on behalf of the people . Citizens can truly be independent in their decision making process . Private sector economic policy attract both citizens and foreign investors into the country . Remember that we are in global world where profit maximization is the ultimate goal of every enterpreneur or investor . In the process these investors becomes job creators for the country economic development . This is what we need in this 21 st century . Pdois economic development policy is Soviet era policy which was tested and has massively failed in the past . We cannot afford to go back to failed economic development policy which encourages political corruption and tyrannical government . Innovations and enterpreneurism is what our country need . Today you have Gambian government is as the main employer in the country which result to massive corruption , mismanagement , impunity , sycophancy , deceptions , and Absolute tyrannical government . Everyone is scare to speak up because of fear of losing their job but when we have private sector as the main source of employment and economic activities , citizens will be empowered to speak up and do the right thing for the country . They won’t depend on government jobs . Unless we advocate to have less government in our lives and encourages private sector base economic development policy , we will continue to have corrupt and political repressive government . Private sector is the best way to go in this 21 st century .

      • Max…

        All that you have stated about interference, corruption, incompetence, communism, soviet era policy has got nothing to do with what I’ve said, nor did you even properly understand the points I raised…

        You seem to have based all your points on a complete misreading and misunderstanding of what I’ve produced from the PDOIS manifesto…

        There is no mention of “private alignment with government “, the basis on which you premised virtually, all your arguments.. What is stated is the :

        “alignment of private financial institutions with private investment and development” (twinning)

        “alignment of public financial institutions with public investment and development..”

        I cannot get my head round the leap you made from “alignment” of one institution with another, to communism and Soviet era policies…No disrespect, but do you really know what Communism is..? It doesn’t look like it the way you went about your response…

        Max, leaving the private sector to lead and become the “engine of growth” is desirable when you have that private sector and/or, can attract serious foreign investment, because you need serious investment to grow and develop…

        A scrutiny of Gambia’s development records will perhaps reveal that all serious investment in the country has been from the public sector…and the sources of finance of the little private sector development activities, will most cetainly be found to be from the public coffers, directly or indirectly, if each was to be properly investigated…

        So the government needs to create that environment where the private sector can itself be developed, before it can take its place in the development process.. Relying on foreign investors, who may have no affiliation with the country except profit motivation, is NOT a pragmatic and realistic model for national development.

        The PDOIS strategy of aligning private financial institutions with private investment and development and the plan to establish a stock exchange, in light of the volume of financial activity in this sector, is a pragmatic and realistic approach to Gambia’s development needs…

        The major capitalist neoliberal economies experienced total collapse due to the banking crisis in 2008, and the banks had to be bailed out with public monies. Would you call that “communism”? I doubt it very much.. If these were public corporations, there would have been no shortage of “experts” telling us just what a bad idea it is to invest public funds in the business sector..

        Gamtel was among the most successful telecommunications companies in Africa and a major employer in the country, and that fact alone, shows that using public finance for public investment is a good idea…

        The failure of Gamtel or any of the other, once successful public corporations, as you have acknowledged, is indeed due to corruption and mismanagement, but these (corruption & mismanagement), cannot be viewed as a consequence of “government control”, because they can be experienced by private enterprises, operating in free market, private sector led economies..

        Nor can their failures be seen as evidence of the negation of the prudence of the Public-Private sector led development concept. Otherwise, the failure of big corporations and banks should also be viewed in the same way: As a negation of the prudence of the private sector led development concept..

        The role of government (in the economic sense) is to organise society to be effective, more productive and to enjoy the benefits of that productivity, and this cannot be done with any measure of seriousness, unless it has control and influence over those elements essential for the purpose.

        You seem to be averse to government control but don’t you realise that even in “free market”, private sector led economies, governments still exercise control and influence through legislation, taxation and other subtle measures ..?

        The reality for us in The Gambia is that we don’t have the private sector that can lead our development…We can’t compete for foreign investment because we are up against players that have got better infrastructure, well trained, highly skilled, better equipped and cheap labour markets…

        So we need to create and develop our own private sector’s capacity before it can take its rightful place in our development process and complement government efforts .. Anything else is foolhardy, unpragmatic and unrealistic..

        • Bax, you have indicated that pdois economic development policy will be based on private-public sector partnership. I want to emphasize to you such partnerships will lead the government to have absolute influence and take over policy. This is why I stated all the negativity associated with such partnership. No body disputes the idea of government to Create an environment where private sector can serve as engine of economic growth which UDP intends to do with minimum government intervention and interference. But the idea of private-public corporations suggested by pdois will lead to corruption and mismanagement and maximum interference of the government. This is where socialism and communism come to play. Such system encourages excessive government interference and interventions in economic activities. UDP will only provide minimal intervention by putting in place policy or laws which regulate private sector just like those in liberal economies or free market and private sector led economies. We need to develop our private sector which is the true intention of UDP so that our economy will be private sector led economy. Thereby, having less government in our lives and to empower citizens economically so that they can own as many companies as possible. What you suggesting about pdois policy is to have individual finance to be used in private-public corporations which will be controlled by the government.
          Gamtel success you highlighted was because of the economic policy of this first republic but when the dictator came, he came with dictatorial policy as government take over policy resulting to near collapse of Gamtel. This is why we do not need another government to interfere with the private sector. Pdois private public sector partnership will just encourages more government interference. UDP will only create enable environment for private sector to succeed as the most significant tool as engine of economic growth , job creations, innovations and encouragement of entrepreneurship. This is what we need in this 21 st century.

          • Max…The private sector needs serious capital to make real impact on development;

            Are you suggesting that “putting policy or law” in place will automatically guarantee investment in the private sector.?

            Could you elaborate more on where these monies will come from when.the UDP Government puts “policy and law” in place..

            Would these “policies and law” be better than the PPP’s and, if Yes, how.? I’m asking because PPP was also supposed to have provided a very conducive environment for investors but they never came..

            Could you tell us where the monies to establish Gamtel came from before the dictator arrived, and whether government then, had any measure of control or influence over it, during its best years.?

            How could you maximise development potentials without a Public-Private sector partnership..? How could you enter into a meaningful partnership without a regulatory framework ?

            Could you explain why it should be seen as “control and interference” when PDOIS provides that frame, but “policy and law” when the UDP provides the same framework.?

            Again, whatever your experience of “communism” is/was, is not justified to associate PDOIS with it, unless you can show the link…

  8. Since I haven’t yet received any response from Mr. Samateh, below he can find global report on HIV Aids in the whole Gambia.

    The Gambia Global AIDS Response Progress Report, 15th April 2015 Page | 2 According to the 2014 preliminary National HIV Sentinel Surveillance, the HIV prevalence in The Gambia is estimated at 1.4% (88 out of 6120) among antenatal women 15-49 years. This, according to WHO, is a generalized HIV epidemic. There are however disparities in prevalence rates among the regions and pockets of high HIV prevalence concentrated among key populations. HIV prevalence was highest in Brikama, 2.7%; followed by Faji Kunda, 2.4%; Sibanor, 2.2%; and Serre Kunda 1.6%; all 4 of them being above the national estimate. HIV prevalence was lowest in Banjul, 0.2%, Gunjur and Farafenni, 0.4% each; and Essau, 0.6%. Overall, the HIV prevalence was below the national estimate in 6 of the 12 sentinel sites, see Figure 1. The sample size for the NSS is 500 per sentinel site.

    • Yankuba, in all the write up of Samateh, you see NOTHING but HIV. How about the other issues he raised? don’t they deserve our and your comments?? that’s what you call myopic. By the way are you from LRD?
      Happy easter to you.