… President Barrow must now be a difference

By alpha Bedoh Kamara

Finally Gambia’s former President Yahya Jammeh has left the country in the wake of elections that ousted him after 22 years in power.

The people of The Gambia have through thin and thick fought for their right to choose a leader through the ballot box and to ensure these rights are uphold and protected, provision of better economy opportunities, good governance, and security.

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President-elect Adama Barrow

In an interview with the BBC on Saturday, he said said he wanted to create a truth and reconciliation committee to investigate allegations of human rights abuses during Mr Jammeh’s time in office.

…Yahya Jammeh, who came to power in a bloodless coup in 1994, won his fourth term in 2011 in flawed elections. Jammeh’s Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction won a major victory in the 2012 legislative elections, which were boycotted by opposition parties. The government restrains civil liberties and harasses political opponents. In 2013, President Jammeh withdrew The Gambia from the British Commonwealth. The Gambia has few natural resources. Government revenue depends heavily on peanut exports, leaving the state vulnerable to price fluctuations and market shocks. Because of its unique location along the Gambia River, the country is also a natural hub for tourism and trade.

Economic Freedom Snapshot

  • 2016 Economic Freedom Score: 57.1 (down 0.4 point)
  • Economic Freedom Status: Mostly Unfree
  • Global Ranking: 119th
  • Regional Ranking: 21st in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Notable Successes: Investment Freedom and Management of Public Finance
  • Concerns: Corruption, Property Rights, and Business Freedom
  • Overall Score Change Since 2012: –1.7

The poor judicial system has diminished the government’s ability to protect property rights, undercutting dynamic development of the private sector. Corruption and protectionism remain major impediments to economic freedom. Despite some reforms in customs automation, tariffs and investment restrictions continue to undermine productivity growth in the private sector. [2016 Index of Economic Freedom].

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Longtime Gambian leader Yaya Jammeh waves as he boards a Guinean government plane to leave Banjul. PHOTO: STRINGER/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

While it is important for a truth and reconciliation committee to investigate allegations of human rights abuses, President Barrow must be the difference and ensure opportunities for all Gambians.

With a population of almost 1.9 million Barrow’s government should prioritized good governance, education, health, favourable investment policies, and security. The people have done the best they could and now look forward to what Barrow and his government will offer.

The people have spoken and he must reciprocate by ensuring good governance in The Gambia.

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Categories: Politics

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