Colleagues Heads of State and Governments,
Guest of Honour,
Excellences First Ladies,
of the National Assembly,
Lord Chief Justice,
of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps,
Religious and Traditional leaders,
of the Media,
I begin by thanking Allah for making me the 3rd President of this great country
through the support of the Gambian people.
I seek guidance and blessing for me and my cabinet to have the strength
and wisdom to serve our beloved nation to higher heights.
would like to first of all welcome the distinguished heads of states and
international guests who are here to share this joyous occasion with us.
is symbolic because of two important developments in the history of our dear
motherland. It was on this day that The Gambia was declared Independent. I was
just three days old. Now I am the President of the Republic of The Gambia after
52 years of nationhood. Few people would have thought that I will be standing
here today to address the nation.
would like to thank the Gambian electorates for their astuteness. They exercised their civic rights in a
peaceful and non-violent manner during the campaign, on election day as well as
after the elections. I will not do
justice without recognizing and expressing my sincere appreciation to the
Gambian Diaspora. They spent time and
resources to support my candidacy through the social media. They encouraged family members and friends to
vote for me. This is a victory for
democracy.It is a victory belonging to all Gambians. It is the decision of
Gambians to change a Government which has entrenched itself through the ballot
box. That has made it possible for us
to gather here today.
wish to take this opportunity to thank the Gambian people, ECOWAS, AU, The UN
and all our international partners in general for supporting us at the most
critical period of our history. This has ensured that democracy has a meaning
to our people.
has changed forever. The people are fully conscious that they can put government
in office as well as remove it. No government will ever be able to entrench
itself against the will of the Gambian people. This is the lesson we must draw
from the change that has been brought by the people.
are now confronted with many challenges. We have inherited an economy that has
declined because of political uncertainty. During the political impasse,
businesses were shot down, offices and schools were closed. Foreign missions scaled down their staff,
50, 000 left the country and over 126, 000 became internally displaced.
restricted their movements and the country became ungovernable. The country would have remained in such a
situation if the new government did not succeed in finding a solution to the
Excellencies, Honourable Guests, Fellow citizens,
Government under my Presidency will strive to ensure the survival, protection
and development of all children.
Ministry of Health and Social Welfare is charged with the responsibility of
doing an inventory on the needs of the hospitals in the country in order to
determine the inputs necessary to upgrade health services. It is to ensure
staff audit in order to identify constraints and develop programmes to enhance
Government will seek to partner with ECOWAS, AU, the UN, other traditional
development partners like the US, the EU, UK and new development partners to
improve on infant and maternal health.
The aim is to improve their well-being and reduce mortality.
will work to improve nutrition, sanitation, access to clean drinking water and
ensure that primary health care is accessible and affordable to both rural and
law of the land instructs that basic education shall be free, accessible and
compulsory. All Gambian children must go to school. The Gambia under my
presidency will respect the dictates of the Constitution and work with our
development partners to make free education for all a reality.
shall be given added support to move towards food security and growth in
export. Production and processing crops, livestock and fisheries will serve as
the base for food security. These will
be linked to job creation and increase in income through agro industrial
service sector, which is now the largest contributor to the Economy, will be
given necessary incentives to contribute towards employment creation and GDP
stability will provide a fertile ground for telecommunication services, banks,
hotels, insurance, housing companies and other sectors to grow and develop
partnerships in Africa and all over the globe.
Ministry of Information and Communication Infrastructure will be given support
to sustain its local area networks.
This will make it possible for the Government to maintain the regional
community information centres and provide them with the necessary ICT services.
The e-government data centre will create better coordination and cooperation
between government institutions.
media, both public and private, will enjoy freedom to disseminate divergent
views and dissenting opinion as required by the Constitution. The Media Law shall be reviewed and code of
conduct for responsible journalism promoted.
This will include re-orientation of the state
media to take up its public service responsibility.
part of the reforms to be undertaken to improve on job creation, e-government
will be utilised to ensure that the Personnel Management Office and the Labour
Department would be able to store data on those seeking employment and the jobs
available at each given period. This will facilitate proper assessment of
employment and unemployment rates especially among the young people. The
Government will undertake a major drive to promote employment in all sectors.
the area of infrastructural development the Government will give the Ministry
of Works, Construction and Infrastructure time bound deadlines for the
construction of the Basse-Fatoto, Fatoto-Koina and Laminkoto-Pasamas roads.
ministry will undertake to identify all the key feeder roads in the country
that require feasibility studies to prepare solid plans to source funds for
the area of Energy, the ministry is charged with the responsibility of ensuring
adequate and affordable electricity supply by diversifying energy sources for
basic household needs. The energy sector
would be improved. The development of
port facilities, road infrastructure, river transport and other services will
attract foreign direct investment at a larger scale.
Ministry of Petroleum will focus on developing the potential to exercise
control and direction over the seismic surveys being done to explore the
potential for oil production in the country. Industrial production shall be
expanded to include robust development of the mining sector and the processing
of raw materials into value added goods.
will be shown in this area to enable the people to know all developments
regarding the sector.
Service Reform will be undertaken to link appointment to merit and income to
Ministry of Planning and Good Governance is to be established to facilitate and
monitor the development and implementation of a blueprint for socio-economic
development. The Provision of quality
social services is the fundamental objective of the government under my
would require sustainable Macro Economic stability and growth. This is why I
established a Think Tank, The Agency for Sustainable Socio-Economic Development
(ASSED). It is charged with the
responsibility to establish an expert bank.
This will provide data on the different expertise available to share
their knowledge and skills. Their
expertise will be tapped in order to put in place an inclusive development
administration will be done by public servants not political appointees.
pay and grading structure of the civil service will be reviewed and pensioners
will also benefit from the reforms.
enterprises are to be reviewed with the view to adopt policies that would
ensure that they pay dividend to government instead of being a liability.
Government will undertake key constitutional and legal reforms which will be
highlighted in my first address to the National Assembly.
intends to enforce constitutional provisions that are entrenched to protect the
fundamental rights of the citizens. Orders have already been given for all
those detained without trial to be released.
Attorney General and Minister of Justice will receive information regarding all
those who are arrested without being traced.An appropriate commission would be
established to conduct inquiries into their disappearances.
Human Rights Commission will be established without delay to complement the
initiatives of the Attorney General.
National Council for Civic Education will be provided with the facilities to
conduct civic education to promote national reconciliation in collaboration
with other organisations that are set up to promote national unity and
judiciary will receive adequate support in terms of personnel and independence
to enable it to deliver justice without fear or favour.
Gambia during the impasse knows what solidarity means. Senegal has proven to be
a friend in times of need. The people of Senegal hosted the people who fled and
the government hosted me as President-elect and worked hand in glove with
ECOWAS, The AU, UN and the international community in general to ensure that
the verdict of the Gambian people is not violated.
this regard, my first trip as a head of state will be to Senegal so that we
could discuss and conclude on matters such as the SeneGambia bridge, our common
borders, the status of the Senegalo-Gambian Secretariat and other outstanding
issues. We want the relation between the two countries to be a model for
would like to give special thanks to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the Chair
of ECOWAS, President Muhamadu Buhari of Nigeria, President Ernest Bai Koroma of
Sierra Leone and former President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana who undertook
the first mediation efforts.
cannot conclude without adding the names of President Alpha Conde of Guinea and
President Abdul Aziz of Mauritania who stepped in at the right time.
special gratitude is also extended to my host President Macky Sall of the
Republic of Senegal during the impasse. I was given a choice by ECOWAS to stay
in Liberia, Nigeria or Senegal during the impasse.
chose Senegal because of the fact we are the same people occupying two different
countries. I must say I made the right choice and received the greatest
Excellencies, honourable guests and fellow citizens, I would like to conclude by
emphasizing that for 22 years the Gambian people yearned to live in a country
where our diversity will be bridged by our tolerance and our determination to
work together for the common good.
decided to form a Coalition so that those speaking Jola, Serer, Aku, Serahuleh,
Manjago, Mandinka, Fula, Wollof and all other groupings would ensure that we
build One Gambia, One Nation and One People. Justice will guide our action and
this Government intends to maintain that spirit of national unity.
whole world supports us and The Gambia will remain a beacon of peace and hope
for others to draw lessons from.
Live The Republic! Long Live the United People of The Gambia! Forward Ever!