On renewed commitment to national development

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

On many occasions when our politicians speak, they talk of values like patriotism, commitment, hard work, and so on, as fundamental to the triumph of any nation. Indeed, these are not mere words of fantasy. They are echoed for a purpose, and the ultimate aim is national development.

President Barrow, while presiding over the swearing-in ceremony of newly appointed Cabinet members on Monday called for renewed commitment to building strong institutions for national development.

  “As we embark on the process of working together as a team and family, I urge all of us to renew our commitment to build strong institutions for national development. The new Gambia calls for us to follow the right processes in the service of the nation, he said. “Thus, given all the huge challenges we face, the country cannot move at a snail pace. Rather, we must move together with vigor and seriousness.”

As he rightly stated ‘our individual attitude towards work will reflect on our collective achievement,’ hence, we must serve as examples and take positive steps to make major reforms in our institutions to promote transparency and accountability’.

It is therefore important for us, the citizenry, to understand the objectives of these words and conduct ourselves well to attain them. The state belongs to no individual or group. It is a product of collective effort and hence-common property. Being patriotic to the nation simply means being patriotic to oneself.

It is a well-known principle within development discourse that for any meaningful progress to be achieved by any nation or society, the people have to be the driving force behind it. All development undertakings must involve the people, who ought to be part and parcel of the initiation and implementation stages of development projects.

Let us therefore all exercise the highest sense of patriotism before we can explore any chance to make our national development aspirations materialise. This will make us become active participants in shaping our destiny so that we can have command over what belongs to us and exploit it for our own progress.

“Commitment is an act, not a word.   ”

Jean-Paul Sartre