Gambia’s new President Adama Barrow has named 10 cabinet appointees to ministerial positions. Notable among the new appointees are leaders of various political parties who formed the coalition alliance which defeated Gambians former Dictator Yahya Jammeh. The swearing ceremony took place February 1st 2017 with the following appointments:
Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs – Amadou Sanneh – UDP
Minister of External Affairs Lawyer Alhagie Ousainou Darboe – UDP
Minister of Tourism – Amat Bah of the NRP
Minister of Youths Sports and Culture – Henry Gomez GPDP
Minister of the Interior – Mai Ahmed Fatty – GMC
Minister of Trade, Regional Integration, Economic Affairs and Employment Dr. Isatou Touray – Independence
Minister of Forestry, Environment and Natural Resources – Lamin Dibba NCP
Minister of Fisheries, Water Resources and National Assembly Matters – James FP Gomez – PPP
Minister for Agriculture – Omar Amaou Jallow – OJ – PPP
Minister for Lands and Regional Government – Lamin N. Dibba UDP
All political parties have represented in the cabinet so far except the PDOIS who are yet to identify a member to be named in the cabinet. Seven more ministerial positions are yet to be named: These includes:
The ministry of Health and Social Welfare
Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research
Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources
Minister of Justice
Ministry of works, communication and construction
Ministry of Religious Affairs
Ministry of Information and Technology
Ministry of Women Affairs
Mr. Amy Bojang Sisoho was appointed as press secretary to the office of the President – She was part of the coalition representing the Independent ticket with Dr. Isatou Touray.
The New Cabinet so far is politically and professionally diverse. It was remarkable to see many of these people being sworn in as members of the new government. Majority of these ministers served jail sentences during 22 years of the Jammeh dictatorship. Amadou Sanneh was serving a five year sentence who walked from Prison to being Sworn in as Minister of Finance. Lawyer Ousainou Darboe, Lamin N. Dibba were also jailed for protesting. Hon OJ Jallow, Ahmat Bah, Dr. Isatou Touray and Mai Fatty all were arrested and jailed at one time or another. It was historic to see how things have changed in the new Gambia.
President Barrow promised to appoint the remaining ministers within the next week. It was reported that Lawyer B Tambedou was appointed as Justice minister but he was not at the swearing in ceremony. Who the remaining ministers will be is yet to be seen. Many people expressed concerns that one of the major parties the PDOIS who played a crucial role in the coalition appears to be left out either because they refused to take ministerial positions or otherwise is not very clear. Many pundits have expressed opinions that the New government should appoint technocrats from outside of the political parties to compliment the potential political divide within the coalition government.
Report filed by Demba Baldeh