News emanating from the Ministry of Finance through Ebrima Sillah, the Minister of Information on the government’s economic and financial reform is very encouraging. The downsizing of our foreign embassies, downsizing of government employees, new government vehicle policies, haulting of financial leakages, cost cutting and the digitalization of government payments and procurements are some of the vital and necessary reforms that the government of President Barrow will be embarking on. This news was like a New Year’s gift for many Gambians who wish to see The Gambia go the the next level of development. The transformation of our economy from analog economy to digital economy will be the most significant and timely reform any Gambian government has embarked on since the country became independent some 53 years ago. This reform, when put into practice and not just a rehtoric, will create many opportunities in the financial sector and the country as a whole. It will be in the history books as one of the legacies of President Adama Barrow. The informal sector of our economy is huge which is why government’s uncontrolled revenue will surely increase with the help of intergrating our economy to be formal. Handling with cash within government systems will be something of the past and itshould be stopped and not allowed with the help of digital economy. Dealing with cash is always a recipe for corruption hence this digital reform could not have come late and should be implemented immediately. The logistic to move from analog economy to digital will not be easy and will take time but it is very encouraging to start the process quickly.

The digital economy is already in existence which means the technology to transform is already there. What is needed is to educate and inform our population on why we need to go digital with our economy. As the old saying goes: “Old  habits die hard” and that change sometimes is good but not always welcome. A point in mind is the situation at Social Security and Housing Finance Corporatio (SSHFC). Reforms can be painful at times but reforms are inevitable in any system or process. What is important in any change or reform is involvement. Here comes the ”Ivolvement Theory” which is very important to put into consideration if any genuine reform is to be accepted and succeeded. The Involvement Theory is about involving and engaging those who are to be affected by the change or reform. The government, if they are serious in going digital economically, should immediately launch an all-out information campaign to all government institutions and the nation as well. This transformation is going to effect everyone. Government employees should get free education or instant courses on digital economy to make the transition or reform acceptable, easy and painless. Never should change be forced upon, less you get opposition and things can get derailed. President Adama Barrow’s initiative to provide Free WiFi within the context of the National Development Plan will contribute immensely in providing access to digital economy. No one and no region in The Gambia should be left behind when the government wants to proceed with the digital economy. At the end of the day it is all about education, access to the Internet and to be connected through a robust Internet infrastructure. The digitalization of the economy is the most difficult part of the proposed reform from the Ministry of Finance. The other reforms like downsizing of foreign embassies, downsizing government employees, vehicle policies and cost cutting are just a matter of implementation and giving instructions.

We hope that many reforms are in the pipeline and they will be announce to the public in an appropriate time.

On a final note, I will not conclude without giving kudos to President Adama Barrow for standning high and firm by upholding the rule of law in the SSHFC issue, despite tremendous pressure and blackmail from people who only see their individual selfish interest. The President, through the SSHFC commission’s findings together with many patriotic Gambians send an unequivocal message that there will never be ”BUSINESS AS USUAL” in this government under his watch. You don’t want to work there is the EXIT DOOR. Thank you Mr. President.
Forward Gambia.
Alhagi Touray



  1. Another praise singing article devoid of any critical substance that depicts the true nature of the government of Adama.
    Alhagi, I want to ask you three simple questions:

    1) Is this the time this government is realizing it needs to cut cost of maintaining a government? Remember, it claims to have found empty coffers at the central bank and other cash holding locations.

    2) What mechanisms, apart from parroting a non-existent private sector and “aid”, are in place to make Gambia a producing and exporting country instead of perpetually depending on imports even for BASIC neeeds like rice, oil, canned and packetted consumables etc?

    3) How can you convince the people to go economically digital, when more than half the population are living on less than a dollar a day? Isn’t that day dreaming instead of facing the stark realities of poverty that got everyone in its grip in The Gambia?

    Yours in the service of The Gambia and Afrikka, I remain.

  2. Well Mr. Mwalimu. Thank you for your opinion. I just miss your solutions to getting Gambia digital. Do you have any? You have read my article objectively and you will agree that I give credit to where it is due unlike you. Where can you give credit to this government’s judgement? We have said it over and over that we will give credit to this government where they do good. Equally so if they erred we will not hesitate to correct them. If that to you is praise singing so be it.

  3. I am saying build an economy first before talking about a cashless economy. Since “independence”, successive Gambian governments have failed to diversify the economy by not having the foresight to build the productive bases to yield high export earnings. Depending entirely on peanut production and tourism, has left us vulnerable to factors we have no control over.

    To answer your question on whether I have any solutions to get Gambia digital, here is my answer.

    In March, I went to the “border” to enter Senegal. Everyone crossing into Senegal is finger printed and have their eyes retina-scanned. I asked the Senegalese immigration officer the necessity of such a high security measure between two people separated by the evils of colonialism. He replied that Cassamance rebels are using Gambia to enter Senegal and commit crimes. I lamented that, that’s a lie. We nearly exchange blows for I demanded to talk to his most superior boss at that post or he should cease that humiliation of the entire Sene-Gambian people.

    The motive behind my little resistance was to highlight how the business of colonialism continues even though the white savages have left our continent. The hard and software used to keep us separated are bought from white people to continue our enslavement and exploitation.

    Gambia will successfully go digital if our leaders will provide the education necessary for our youths to become innovators rather than fish food in the Mediterranean Sea. Education that will not make us permanent consumers of imported everything but creators of new and cutting edge methods ranging from technology to farming. That’s the kind of visionary leadership the soul of the country is yearning for.

    I cannot in good conscience give any credit to the government of the Gambia. They are not sincere men. Reneging on the coalition agreement(s) is a moral treachery. That’s the first point. Second, I see no difference between this regime and that of Yaya EXCEPT the human rights violations he brutally carried out for twenty two years in CONNIVANCE with people who are also today serving in every branch of the government.

    You can give credits, that’s everyone’s right. However, giving credit based on falsehood is deceiving to the masses. Cabinet has a meeting and they talked about bringing down costs and bingo, drums go on fire. That’s a joke at best.

    You can see I have taken the time to answer your questions. Please do mine too for the interest of the general readership.

    NB1: ……We have said it over and over that we will give credit to this government where they do good. Who is WE?

    NB2: Alhagi, you can drop the Mister (Mr.) whilst addressing me. I’ll be glad.

    Yours in the service of The Gambia and Africa, I remain.

  4. Then, Senegalese immigration authorities must have been doing wonderful work at that border. Frankly speaking my opinion, I think the time is indeed over due for each and every citizen over 17 years, in each and every individual African nation, have his/her database with police and immigration authorities of the various African nations. How can countries curb violent crimes if they don’t even have databases to scan to match fingerprints from crime scenes.

    Man, I would even further urge the government of the Gambia to install solar powered secret cameras at strategic border points around the whole country. These cameras should be on the monitors 24/7. The surging crime rates in the Gambia should be very much alarming to every concerned citizen.
    Seriously speaking in my own mind, I think we as Gambians and Africans today, got a lot more to do about our own perpetually self-inflicted wounds in order to be competent and readymade in preventing perceived dangers that may be exported to us by the seemingly yet looming colonizers.
    The Gambia government should impose
    strict visa regulations in general. They shouldn’t take for granted that every one from Britain, U.S, Canada, Europe, Middle East, Asia Latin America or the South Pacifics with a few hundred $$ should be granted a tourist or whatever visa one may call it … and I hope the tourism minister not getting mad about that suggestion. My suggestions are solely in consideration of national security matters and therefore, they are without a pinch of intention to sound populist or being repulsive to the idea of diversity.
    Corruption, nepotism, discrimination, hatred etc. etc., within the ranks of any government, security departments and judiciary systems however, would only serve as a highly refined fuel in flaring up crime rates and civil unrests anywhere in the world.

  5. Am making an exception because of the important points raised by Ggapm on the border situation between Gambia and Senegal.

    @Ggapm: I beg to differ that the Senegalese immigration authorities are doing a good job by fingerprinting those entering from Gambia. I make that assertion with reference, first to the history of the formation of both countries. Africa was partitioned on the 10th of August 1889 in Berlin, Germany. This meeting was called by Kaiser Wilhelm II, because white people wanted to finally stop fighting over territories that were not within their geographic domiciles. Second, it was believed (and still is) that Africans are subhuman and are therefore not capable of taking care of their own affairs in an orderly manner. Just the same justifications for the enslavement of black people. So fast forward that full circle to 2018, it will give you one hundred and twenty nine years since the imperialist have taken it upon themselves to separate cultures and communities without any shred of consideration to the socioeconomic consequences that arbitrary undertaking will lead to. Might I also mention that there were no Africans present at that meeting that will create a totally “false new reality” for the black man and how he perceive himself and his environment (himself represent all genders in this case).

    After one hundred and twenty nine years, it’s baffling as to why there is still a border for example between The Gambia and Senegal. Two people who share (or are suppose to share) everything in common from languages to food, to belief systems and cultures and subcultures. The list cannot be exhausted. Instead of bringing that border to a condition of non-existence, we have the elite perpetuating the same methods of oppression and a citizenry crying for more of the same. Ggapm, am referring to you.

    Criminality has its roots in alienation, poverty, destitution, ignorance, frustration on many levels etc. People who are interested in the welfare of their nations, study the living conditions of the inhabitants of a given geographical or political terrain and come up with solutions to ameliorate those problems. Your solution is like beating a dead horse that died from thirst and hunger. That’s the metaphor of colonization and borders.

    Having said that, the rising amount of crime is to be understood in its proper context. First, where is the statistics? Second, break down the types of crimes we have here in The Gambia into major and minor crimes. You can even go down to break it into specifics like burglaries, robberies, petty theft, sexual crimes, domestic violence and so on and so forth. Then one could talk about devising ways and means based on scientific data to combat that phenomenon. That’s what’s is lacking in our institutions.

    To be continued