Caution in gov’t appointments

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

As news begin to filter in about the first cabinet appointments in the Adama Barrow administration, we would like to advise the president’s team to thoroughly scrutinize candidates, and to properly research all the constitutional and legal requirements to be considered in making appointment.

This would avoid any embarrassment. The president’s team must also look out for suitably qualified and competent Gambians to fill key positions.

We know that we are dealing with a coalition government with members of diverse backgrounds, but qualification and competence should be the overriding factors in making any appointment for professional interaction with the rest of the world.

The country needs a bilingual and energetic foreign minister to lead our foreign policy team. We also need someone who can clearly and authoritatively outline our foreign policy to the rest of the world, and interact effectively with representatives of our key partners.

The new president needs also to put together a strong communication team, to avoid some contradictions we have seen recently. A good government spokesperson and a director of press should be appointed.

The government should communicate effectively with one voice. Some of the statements must come from the president himself, and others from one appointed spokesperson, not two or three.

We would need somebody who knows and loves sport to be the minister of youth and sports, which is very vital in the country’s sports fraternity and for the sector’s systematic development.

The ministers to be appointed in the new government should declare their assets, and be free from excessive financial debt. They should be physically and mentally fit to steer the affairs of state.

The minister of information, together with the director of press, must ensure the media have access to state information.

The new government must also ensure and support an independent judiciary, which must be Gambianised, to represent the interest of all and sundry in this country.

These are just some steps to be observed in putting together a competent and selfless team of servants of the people, who will be in a position to bring about a positive change.

It is believed that a nation’s greatness depends on its leaders.

“ The enlightened ruler is heedful, and the good general full of caution.”

Sun Tzu