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Outgoing US ambassador speaks on achievements, homosexuality, others

Jun 4, 2012, 12:44 PM | Article By: Baboucarr Senghore

The outgoing US ambassador to The Gambia has given his last interview to The Point as she ends her tour of duty, speaking on a wide range of issues covering her achievements and memories during her tenure; the media and homosexuality in The Gambia, among others.

Pamela Ann White, who left Banjul on Saturday for her next country of mission, Haiti, after 18 months in The Gambia, spoke to The Point in an exclusive interview on Thursday.

Commenting on her achievements, ambassador White said her greatest achievements was that she had convinced Washington, the United States government, to have a more positive view of The Gambia.

“This is a country that has over the years been viewed from a human rights point of view, but believe me, this is a great country,” she opined.

According to her, The Gambia is a country that has a very good record in terms of education, especially when it comes to girls; a country where 75% of the population have access to portable water and a country with absolute religious tolerance and gender equality.

“This is a country that has a lot to brag about. So I believe I have managed to change the views of many Washingtonians about The Gambia, and I hope that it will translate sooner or later into increased funding for The Gambia,” she added.


Commenting on the much-talked about subject of homosexuality, the outgoing US diplomat said she personally believes that homosexuality is fine, but was quick to note that each country is a sovereign country and has the right to its own rules and laws.

“How we in the United States view gay rights and marriages is totally brand new for us. It is not something that we have for the past 50 or 60 years. It was only in the past four years that this has become an issue in the United States that we dealt with,” she stated.

Describing homosexuality as a very delicate subject that has no simple answer, Pamela Ann White further opined that it is totally wrong, and also a violation of human rights to condemn gay marriages.

“But on the other hand, you have to respect the sovereignty of countries and understand that this is an extremely delicate issue, especially in Africa,” she added.


On the prospects of the Gambian media, the outgoing US ambassador said the Gambian media is doing better, and are getting better organized; their work is better, the content is better and more indepth.

“What the media needs is real infusion of cash; they need more advertising money; they need greater circulation, but all that is going to happen because this country is on the move in education, and the more educated people you have, the more they read, the more papers you sell and the more advertisers will come,” she further stated.

According to her, there is a real way forward for the media in The Gambia, and that the press corps should seize this moment and not be afraid, but move forward.

This, she went on, is because The Gambia is reaching a target, within the next five years or so, when the press will become more and more important and one of the tools in the tool-kit of moving this country forward.