#Article (Archive)

Tribute: Alhaji A. A Faal (ORG) (1931-2012), pioneer Gambian Central Banker, Banjul Muslim Elder

Apr 13, 2012, 4:07 PM | Article By: Hassoum Ceesay

Alhaji A A Faal who passed away last weekend at the age of 81 was among the founding senior staff of the Gambia Central Bank, when it was created in March 1971 under the inspiring Governorship of H.R Monday Jr. (1935-1991). Mr Faal had joined the Gambian Civil Service in 1951 as a trainee audit clerk following his scholarship at the Methodist Boys High School. For the next 20 years he painstakingly and patiently worked his way up the labyrinthine network of the then Government Audit and Accountant General’s Departments, interspersed with numerous professional training courses in the UK.

By 1965, he was accountant at the PWD, and in 1969 was promoted to Senior Accountant at Ministry of Works and Communications. In 1971, he was seconded to the newly created Central Bank of The Gambia. He was a pillar in the establishment of the nation’s Bank. Perhaps I should contextualise the early days of the Central Bank and remind readers that it started operations on 1st March 1971, with a starting capital of £50,000 fully subscribed by the Gambia Government. The formation of the Central Bank went through three distinct stages and Mr Faal was involved in all of them: first, the offices of The Gambia Currency Board created in 1966 were transferred from London to Bathurst in October 1970; second, accounts were opened at the Board for the Treasury, and the two commercial banks ten in The Gambia, and thirdly, in March 1971, the Central Bank of The Gambia was officially opened at 3-4 Buckle Street by the Finance Minister S.M Dibba.

The new Central Bank quickly collated a qualified and experienced staff of Gambians and expatriates to lead its operations: HR Monday Jr, formerly Permanent Secretary at Finance was appointed Governor; Mr. U. Tin Tun was General Manager; AA Faal was Chief Accountant; Chief Economist was Dr Ahmad; J W Davies was Secretary to the Board; MBM Sissohor was Accountant; and L.M Jarra was Treasurer. The team worked hard to introduce the Gambian Dalasi in July 1971 and to put the new institution, which is one of the great symbols of Gambian independence and sovereignty, onto sound and solid foundation.

In 1976, the expatriate staff left the Central Bank and Mr Faal was promoted General Manager. He held this esteemed post until 1986 when he retired, having worked under three Governors- H.R Monday Jr., S.S Sisay and T.G.G Senghore.

Upon retirement, Mr Fall continued to serve his nation in various capacities as Chairman, Civil Service Salaries Commission, and Chairman Committee of Banjul Muslim Elders and was a member of the Sharia Committee of a local bank.

He frequently passed by to see me and we always talked about Banjul history, the early days of the Bank and many other issues of historical import. Now and then he will bring me a portion of the bananas he harvested in his home gardens. Mr Faal was a good and pious man. The last time we spoke in early April, he was trying to send me his CV as he told me he was unwell. To his family and friends, I pay my condolences.

(Alhaji A. AFaal (ORG) (1931-2012), pioneer Gambian Central Banker, Banjul Muslim Elder,born 17 Feb. 1931. Died April 6 2012)