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Why we must celebrate

Feb 23, 2015, 10:02 AM

While the independence activities continue to unfold in good stead, the occasion marking the celebrations on Wednesday 18 February at the Independence Stadium is something to write home about, as it was massive and highly successful, with foreign dignitaries including heads state from a good number of regional countries visiting Banjul to attend the occasion.

The whole nation, including those who could not make it to the Stadium, was in a celebratory and elative mood.

We really ought to celebrate our national independence, to some extent not necessarily because of the heights we have attained, but because of the depth of the struggle from which we have come.

While we have been freed from foreign domination, we however note the fact that the exploitation of our resources and labour is yet to bring us substantial returns.

Independence also presents an opportunity for us to consolidate our efforts, talents and potential, to rebuild our nation and direct its affairs on a path of sustainable development.

Unfortunately, for many countries in Africa, taking the attainment of independence on a development path has been shackled with myriad of problems, caused by both internal and external factors.

However, in any case, the solution to our continental problems must come from within; that is, we as a people must think intuitively, and implement plans wisely that will help us achieve our dreams and aspirations of economic, political, social and cultural transformation.

This would help us to maintain a growth trajectory that will see us go from height to height in our development endeavours.

Fifty years is a landmark period in the life of anything, so much so about nationhood.

So we ought to celebrate, especially the remarkable improvement or developments we have registered as a nation since Independence in 1965.

Over the past 50 years, we as a nation have registered tremendous growth and development in various areas of nation-building. These include agriculture, health, education, economic growth, politics, construction and other sectors and industries.

Hence, looking at the depth of hardship and underdevelopment from which we have come, at least 50 years ago, and the heights we have attained today in many spheres of human development and socio-economic growth, we can proudly say celebrating the 50th anniversary of nationhood is worthwhile.

“Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”

Martin Luther King, Jr