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Gambia to host international rotary conference

Jul 11, 2017, 4:12 PM | Article By: Abdoulie Nyokeh

The newly appointed assistant Rotary District Governor 9101, Minyan Jobe, has disclosed that The Gambia will play host to the first ever Rotary District Conference in 2018-2019.

The high level conference is expected to bring together thousands of Rotarians from all over the world to The Gambia.

In an interview with The Point at the weekend, Assistant District Governor Jobe said the participants and delegates for the high level conference will mainly come from the 10 countries that constitute District 9101.  Other Rotarians from other districts around the world would be in attendance.

He said The Gambia will host the conference under supervision of the current District Governor-Elect, Rotarian Aki Allen, who is the chairman of the Gambia Electrical Company.  Upon his confirmation at the conference, Rotarian Allen will be the first ever Gambian to become a Rotary District Governor supervising 10 countries.

Rotarian Jobe said the conference will bring a lot of business for hotels, tourist attraction centres, and other markets.

“The delegates are expected to visit many sites in the country, especially tourist attraction areas and this will boost the economy of the country,” he said, adding that arrangements are being made for the success of the high level conference, saying “at the moment, the ground is level”.

He said a national rotary committee has been constituted and it will be working closely with District Governor-Elect Aki Allen to support him to ensure that the conference becomes reality and a success.

Jobe joined rotary in 2011 after he was introduced to the club by Rotarian Alieu Secka, who is the past president of the Rotary Club of Fajara and is now the chief executive officer of the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Under the rule of rotary club, to become a Rotarian, someone most introduce you to the club and after attending many meetings, the board of the club will then decide to choose whether to induct and make you a member or not.

“I am honoured to be made a member of the Rotary Club of Fajara,” Jobe said.

Regarding his current position as the assistant District Governor 9101 for 2017-2018, he expressed appreciation and honored to be selected and appointed as a district official holding the flag of The Gambia in the world of rotary.

He explained that part of his roles include helping and supporting the various club presidents during their mandates by guiding them to operate according to the dictates of rotary club.

 “This is done to ensure that the district goals and that of Rotary International are realised,” the assistant District Governor 9101 said.

According to Jobe, the president of Rotary International had recognise that “a very small percentage” of Rotarians are under 40 years; the majority are more than sixty years old.

“In effect, there is a need to recruit new generation by increasing and involving the young people into our rotary clubs as they are the future leaders,” he said.

Rotary movement was founded in 1905 as a service organisation of professionals dedicated to supporting the needy in their communities.

The focus areas of the movement are peace and conflict resolution, disease prevention and treatment, water and sanitation, children and maternal health, basic education and illiteracy, and economy and community development.

There are three active rotary clubs in The Gambia; a fourth one is in the making.  The three are: Rotary Club of Fajara, Rotary Club of Banjul, and Rotary Club of Brusubi/Serekunda; the Rotary Club of Bijilo is in the making. 

The West African countries with rotary clubs are The Gambia, Burkina, Liberia, Mali, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry, Cape Verde and Sierra Leone, with a cumulative total of 84 clubs and 1,800 members in these countries under the leadership of the current District Governor Nicolas Kouvahey from Mali.

Rotarian Jobe said one of their focuses this year, as articulated by Rotary International President Ian Riseley, is to reduce global warming, thus every rotary club should endeavour to embark on tree planting as a way of tacking global warming.