Dec 4, 2009, 12:16 PM
It is the norm that many people do not have much regard for time regardless of what work or appointment they have. Most people refer to this lackadaisical attitude towards time as African time.
The term is also sometimes used to describe the more leisurely, relaxed and less rigorously scheduled lifestyle found in people, especially as opposed to the more clock-bound pace of daily life in Europe and elsewhere.
For the few who are always conscious of time, and guests who are not used to the system, being kept waiting is always a big source of discomfort.
However, this cultural tendency of a more relaxed attitude to keeping the time should stop among Gambians, sooner rather than later.
It has been noted for instance, that you will be invited to a programme, and you get there on time, just to be surprised that even organisers are nowhere to be found.
On other occasions or in some cases, the organisers and invited guests would come on time, but the guest speaker who is to deliver the keynote speech arrives late. This happens quite frequently.
Our argument here is that if you know you cannot make it to an event at the right time because of other pressing issues, please tell the organisers to excuse you until another time or delegate another competent person to be there at the right time.
Indeed, it is not fair for people to be kept waiting for only one person for hours, in the name of so-called protocol.
What everyone needs to understand is that time is money, and that the more time we waste the less productive we become.
Every minute counts in a development process, and that is why we have set a timeframe for our development aspirations like Vision 2010 and the MDGs.
"Better three hours too soon, than one minute too late."