Bah, the aspiring mayoral candidate of KMC explains to The Point why he is the
most conventional of candidates in the forthcoming mayoral election.
Below is his one-one with The Point.
The Point: Who is Adama Bah?
Adama Bah: I was born and raised in Serekunda and Bundung where my extended still lives. I am married to my lovely wife Lisong Chapman-Bah and we live in Kololi with our family.
I attended Armitage High school and hold graduate degree in tourism management, specialising in responsible tourism. I worked in top management positions in the hospitality industry for about three decades before retiring as deputy general manager at the BB hotel. Over the years I took up the pioneering role of promoting responsible tourism in the Gambia, the sub-region and the world over.
I helped initiate a number of eco and community based tourist projects in the Gambia such as “Gambia is Good” farm yard to help local farmers sell their products in the hospitality industry. My efforts also helped people in tourists receiving communities like Jufureh, Janjanburay, Kartong, Tumanitenda, Ndemban and Siffoe develop their capacity to manage tourist attraction sites and market access for their products.
I am a fellow of a host of tourism organizations around the world including the International Centre for Responsible Tourism, UK. I am regularly consulted on matters of tourism in the Gambia, the West Africa sub-region and internationally. I have been instrumental in the establishment of the International Centre for Responsible Tourism (ICRT), and helped establish its West Africa branch. Through this organization, a number of Gambians and others from the sub-region are trained on responsible tourism management. So far, 18 Gambians, 2 Nigerians, 1 Ghanaian and 2 Kenyans, successfully completed graduate level studies in responsible tourism through the Leeds Metropolitan University’s distance learning program funded from a commonwealth scholarships programme. In 2000, with others I initiated the Association of Small Scale Enterprises in Tourism (ASSET), an organisation that promotes and protects small scale business players in the tourism industry.
We just celebrated 10 years of a vocational college I co-founded: Institute of Travel and Tourism of the Gambia (ITTOG). The school trained over 1000 students, gave 12 scholarships to our best students to study tourism and travel in UK and was given prestigious awards for its contribution to the development of tourism and culture.
In 2004, I was awarded the “Greatest Contribution by a Person in Responsible Tourism” at the prestigious World Travel Market in London. The award was conferred on me by The Times of London, World Travel Market, Geographic Magazine and Responsible Travel .com. I am part of a panel of advisers to the World Travel Market Responsible Tourism Day which takes place every year in London.
The Point: What is your background in politics?
Adama Bah: I have been active in politics since my high school days in the 70s. I have been a founding member of PDOIS. I stood for PDOIS in the Serekunda West constituency on two occasions against the late Hon. Sulayman Joof of the APRC and lost. Since 2000 I have not been very active in partisan politics mainly due to my various engagements with International NGOs. However, I continued to support the party PDOIS in other ways.
The Point: Are you talking to any political party to sponsor you?
Adama Bah: I applied to contest the next KMC mayoral election as a PDOIS candidate.
The Point: Why do you want to become Mayor for KMC?
Adama Bah: KMC needs a new direction to meet the needs and challenges of our time. I have the vast experience in management and the development of sustainable, people centered businesses that is needed today in KMC. I know I have what it takes to change the KMC. I am humble, honest and dedicated in bringing progress to the municipality and I know I can work diligently in building a self-reliant KMC economy to benefit all: be it the people or businesses operating within KMC. I am confident that I have what is required to transform our municipality into a vibrant, clean and modern commercial centre for the new Gambia.
People of KMC should not just take my word but should also take up their responsibility to find out from the various institutions I worked for, the various communities I served during my work, my neighbours in Kololi and so on. Before you employ someone you should conduct research about the person and that is the responsibility of the electorate. In New Gambia, people should vote on the basis of who is the best for the municipality and not on sentiments, ethnicity or language groupings, family ties, who gives me what and so on.
The Point: What is your vision for KMC?
Adama Bah: My vision is to build confidence, raise aspirations and get communities to create their own development with the support of the KMC.
I therefore have a mission as expressed in my slogan: “With you-For You- For KMC” meaning we are in it together to work with the KMC community of citizens by ensuring inclusive and participatory governance through involving people organised into civil associations for their progress. This is what I call “Community activism”.
The Point: What is your message to the electorate?
Adama Bah: What I would like to say is the Gambian electorate is changing. This is the first time we changed this country through the power of the people. This is a big achievement! Let us keep the momentum going and put the right people in the right places. If we do this we will have progress but if we put wrong people in positions of leadership we will move backwards. So vote for the right one in the next KMC mayoral elections.