Oct 29, 2008, 6:59 AM
Upon reflecting deeply on the contents of the speech given by Richard Yoneoka charge d’affaires at the US embassy in Banjul, on Wednesday evening at the Coco Ocean hotel reception to celebrate the 238th anniversary of US Independence Day, one cannot fail to realise that it contains good advice for those in government in the ex-colonies.
“While Independence Day is a day to remember where we have been, it is also a day where we focus on where we will go. We are a nation dedicated to moving forward, not dwelling in the past.
“Progress, looking ahead, has been something instilled in the American spirit since 1776, when America celebrated our independence from England.
“Despite the long war between the then American colonies and England, immediately after our declaration of independence, trade between the two countries resumed. Soon after, diplomatic relations were established.
“In the coming century, relations between the United States and England were not always great; hostilities ensued, battles were waged. But we continued to turn forward, to look ahead.
“Now, as we’ve enjoyed for a long time, the United States and the United Kingdom share a special relationship – an alliance based on mutual trust, mutual interests and mutual benefits. Still today, our nation continues to look ahead”, he pointed out.
Richard T.Yoneoka went on: “Long ago, the United States of America and The Gambia also forged a relationship of mutual trust, mutual interest and respect...”
“Our engagement with The Gambia, dating back at least 130 years was re-energized 50 years ago at the time of Gambian independence, and remains as strong and important today as ever before.
“But we are not merely satisfied with closeness of our relationship in the past; we are committed to maintaining and growing the collaboration between our two nations into the future.
“I hope that just as we did with England, we will continue to turn forward and look ahead. Our cooperation is strong and continues to grow”, Washington’s current top envoy in Banjul further noted.
We hope government leaders and the people in former colonies, especially in Africa, will get the message that this is one crucial lesson to learn from America, on how to relate with the former colonial masters.
“While Independence Day is a day to remember where we have been, it is also a day where we focus on where we will go. We are a nation dedicated to moving forward, not dwelling in the past”