Author: Yusef Taylor

Yusef Taylor, commonly known as Flex Dan is an editor and practising journalist based in the Gambia with a keen interest in human rights, the economy and good governance among many others. He continues to break news on the economy, human rights violations and is highly engaged in security sector reforms, constitutional reform and the transition of the Gambia from dictatorship to a democracy, the NewGambia. Yusef has been working with Gainako as a media practitioner from 2015 to date. He has a degree in Civil Engineering with 5 years of Design Consultancy experience.

By Louise S A Alsan, @AlsanLouise This is a video report on the Gambia’s first ever Know Your Budget public sensitisation campaign run by Gambia Participates. Gambia Participates is a Civil Society Organisation focusing on Public Finance and Fiscal Transparency. This video focuses on their Know Your Budget Billboard Campaigns positioned at 6 different locations in the Greater Banjul Area and it features the Gambia Participates Program Manager and Volunteer likewise the citizens observing it. This video showcases innovative ways in which Civil Society and the Media can engage the public on Budget advocacy and sensitisation. Attempts were made to…

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By Yusef Taylor, @FlexDan_YT Since the new Barrow administration came into power in late 2016 the European Union has provided significant budget support to The Gambia. We sit down with outgoing EU Ambassador Atila Lajos to understand what strings are attached to Millions of Euros flowing into The Gambia’s treasury. Attempts were made to engage the Ministry of Finance to better understand how the Funds have been spent without success. The report features an interview with Hon Alhagie Mbow who believes the EU is a great partner who should “watch where they put their mouth and their feet”. We also…

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A group of Civil Society Organisations are set to collectively clean the cemeteries in Banjul and the Kanifing Municipal Council starting this Friday 23rd October 2020 and Saturday 24th October 2020. In The Gambia a number of cemeteries are shared between Muslims and Christians, making them an important socio-cultural landmark showcasing our interfaith values. Preserving this value of religious tolerance in an increasingly polarised world has compelled some well-meaning Gambians of different faiths to embark on the cleaning of cemeteries and a number of other interfaith activities to defuse the tension caused by the recent debates on Secularism. The group…

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By Yusef Taylor, @FlexDan_YT Five Nominees recently shortlisted in the Gambia Press Union (GPU) 2020 Awards have been disqualified from the annual National Journalism Awards. Three categories namely; Agriculture, Environment and Migration and Human Trafficking have seen nominees disqualified.  A press release sent to the media on Sunday 11th October indicated that “out of the 33 stories that made it at the preliminary nominations, three were found to have missed some key criteria and therefore disqualified”. However, after inspecting the list of final Nominees it can be seen that five Nominees have been disqualified from three different categories. After reviewing…

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The Gambia Press Union (GPU) has published a press release indicating that three out of the 33 nominated finalists have been disqualified. The presser did not include a definitive list of the 33 nominated finalists prompting me to contact the Awards Committee to request for it and enquire about the disqualified nominees. I was informed that a press conference would be held on Wednesday 14th October 2020, on the upcoming GPU Awards, where journalists can seek further clarifications.  The presser highlights that EyeAfrica TV have been awarded the contract to broadcast the awards after a tendering process. The awards ceremony…

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By Dawda Sarge With countless radio-friendly hits, MTV features, numerous nominations, outstanding awards, socio-conscious artivism, and a new Gambian/Nollywood produced movie-making rounds in various African countries just to name a few. Omid Wisdom releases a new thought-provoking single, ‘Gambiano Labaluwo’ or Gambian Lives Matter. It features 4 prominent Gambian stars. Og Log, Sparklyn Black, Hussein Dada and Bigg Faa. His music is available for streaming on all various streaming platforms accessible to Gambians by such as Youtube and Audiomack by simply searching Omid Wisdom. Gambiano La baluwo is the kind of food for thought music the people are craving for.…

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By Yusef Taylor, @FlexDan_YT Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) staff commenced a sit-down strike since Thursday, 25th September 2020, demanding that their Managing Director (MD) Mr Adesina Adebesin, must step down or else they would not return to work. Since Thursday when the sit-down strike commenced customers have been struggling to access their money from the Bank. According to the Bank’s Spokesperson, the strike “has affected all branches across the country”. One customer from Farafenni told Gainako that he hasn’t been able to access money from the bank since Thursday. On Friday, 26th September 2020, I visited GTBank’s main branch at…

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Yusef Taylor, @FlexDan_YT Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) Staff have again threatened to stage a sit-down strike starting tomorrow, 24th September 2020, after Central Bank talks failed. A letter addressed to all staff indicates that “this time our Managing Director [Adesina Adebesin] should go, we do not have confidence in him leading us anymore”. The letter reveals that “both Board of Directors and the Managing Director do not have staff interest at heart but to continue exploiting the hardworking deserving staff for their own pockets.” Speaking to a source working at GTBank they explained that after the sit-down strike held on…

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By Yusef Taylor, @FlexDan_YT The Gambia’s National Assembly voted not to progress with the third reading of the Constitution Bill 2020 on 22nd September 2020. The Bill which seeks to install term limits and the 50+1 clause needed at least 42 National Assembly Members (NAMs) to vote yes to progress the Bill, however, only 31 NAMs voted for the Bill while 23 NAMs voted against the Bill. Since last week Monday, 14th September 2020, the National Assembly had been at loggerheads with the Media and Civil Society. First, the National Assembly blocked Gambian Media from entering the National Assembly chambers,…

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By Yusef Taylor, @FlexDan_YT The National Assembly Member (NAM) for Lower Nuimi, Hon Mahtarr M. Jeng stressed that Parliament confirming the appointment of Cabinet Ministers is a positive Constitutional provision which will enable Parliament to help the President. During his contribution on the Second Reading of the Constitution Bill 2020, the United Democratic Party (UDP) lawmaker was queried by two expelled UDP NAMs in Hon Billay Tunkara and Hon Alhagie Jawara. The parliamentarian revealed that the National Assembly’s recently revised standing order was cut and pasted from numerous countries. Context The Gambia’s National Assembly is currently debating the Constitution Bill…

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