25 February 2013

Gambia: Ebrima Jawara Launches Book On President Jammeh's Developments

A son of the former president of the The Gambia, Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara, has launched a book on the developments registered under President Jammeh's administration from 1994 to 2012.

The book authored by Ebrima Jawara entitled 'Overview of Development Projects in The Gambia under President Jammeh's Leadership 1994-2012' was launched on Saturday at the Kairaba Beach Hotel by the Acting Chief Justice of The Gambia, Raymond Sock, on behalf of the Gambian leader, His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya AJJ Jammeh.

The landmark occasion was witnessed by Cabinet ministers; Lady Njaimeh Jawara, mother of the author; Abdoulie Maktarr Jobe, former Senegalese minister of Sports and Public Affairs; Dodou Issa Nyiasse, deputy mayor of Dakar and Senegalese Member of Parliament; Ambassadors of Mauritania, Cuba, and Venezuela; Momodou Sabally, director of Budget at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs; relatives and well wishers.

The book highlights the uncountable visible developments brought by the APRC government in all sectors of national development and the number of projects implemented across the length and breadth of the country within a period of 18 years.

Launching the book on behalf of the Gambian leader, Acting Chief Justice Raymond Sock described the book as very comprehensive and it highlights some of the developments in key areas such as education, health and agriculture, which he said are very important sectors in the developmentof the country.

He said the developments are well illustrated, noting that the advent of the 22nd July Revolution has brought about so many changes. Sock also said that the Revolution has made great stride to achieve its development goals.

"It is an important source of reference on the developments registered by the Jammeh administration to all Gambians," he added, while thanking the author for a job well done.

Speaking earlier, the chairman of the occasion, Bala Garba Jahumpa, minister of Health and Social Welfare, who is also responsible for National Assembly Matters, began by extending the Gambian leader's greetings to everyone present. He said it was an honour to witness the occasion as vanguards of the 22nd July Revolution.

"What is contained in the book is the cornerstone of the 22nd July Revolution with regards to the advancement of this great nation," he remarked.

Minister Jahumpa reminded the gathering that revolution means a change for the better, and that a revolution has taken place in all sectors of national development. "No one can dispute the fact that since the dawn of the 22nd July Revolution, advancement has taken place in all sectors. It is therefore a collective responsibility for all to support the development objectives of President Jammeh," he added.

He finally assured the author of their support at all times, while urging him to ignore people he described as 'detractors'.

Reviewing the book, Benjamin Roberts, director general of the Gambia Tourism Board, noted that the work by the author is by no means exhaustive and does not capture all the development projects undertaken by the president since he assumed the mantle of leadership in 1994.

He added: "In this epic documentary, Mr. Jawara attempts to chronicle the development projects undertaken and prompted by President Jammeh in the areas of education, health, trade and private sector development, security, governance, agriculture, tourism, and youth and sports."

Roberts further noted that the author reminds people that the first successful project of President Jammeh was indeed the assumption of power on 22nd July 1994. He said that the author also tells that the choice of strategy to achieve the development projects of the Jammeh administration was influenced by the economic, social, and political realities at the time. "Dilating on these, Jawara points out that the overriding economic environment, the existing Fiscal and Monetary Policies, the developments within the external sector, and the challenges relating to governance, transparency, accountability, and quality of life and welfare of the population necessitated the strategies adopted by President Jammeh to deliver the economic development projects realised under the period in review," he remarked.

On his part, Ghaleb I. Zeidan, proprietor of Transphere Printing and publisher of the book, told the gathering that he knew the author since 2003, when he was an accountant at the Standard Chartered Bank. "I was aware of Ebrima's unflinching loyalty and support for President Jammeh and his administration as well as his professionalism. I saw this document as an opportunity and privilege to expose the tireless efforts of a great son of this nation, His Excellency President Jammeh and his government towards the development of our beloved Gambia," he said.

He finally thanked the Gambian leader for giving the author the permission to publish the document, for the great work he is doing for the country and Africa and also prayed for his continued well-being and good health.

Abdoulie Maktarr Jobe, former Senegalese minister of Sports and Public Affairs, said his presence at the book launch was meant to strengthen the relationship between The Gambia and Senegal. He stressed that the two countries are the same people who were divided by colonial rule.

He described the move by the author as another indication of the good work by the president from 1994 to date. He also thanked the author for a job well done.

On his part, Ebrima Jawara said:

"Writing on a topic that will generate debate as no doubt this book will, leaves the author open to praise for a job well done as well as insults from people who are detractors of the subject matter. I have been informed that my decision to write this book is already drawing criticism and personal attacks from individuals online. I would not expect anything less from those cyber politicians. It says a lot that people who claim to be democratic and human rights defenders are quick to criticise a book they have not read, and hurl personal insults on someone they have never met or spoken to."

Jawara insisted that he is exercising his democratic rights to openly support and admire President Jammeh and the APRC.

His words: "As a person who believes in actions rather than words, and President Jammeh being the action-oriented president that he is, it was easy for me to start on this work, documenting his great works. I wish to thank President Jammeh for authorising the inclusion of this book launching as part of events marking our 48th Independence Anniversary."

He finally thanked all those who attended the launching.

Delivering the vote of thanks, Lady Njaimeh Jawara said the launching of the book was a great moment for her. She thanked all those who supported and contributed to the successful launching of the book. She also expressed profound gratitude to the Gambian leader for his moral support.

Copies of the book were also sold during the launch.

About the author

Ebrima Jawara is the Project Coordinator of the Central Project Coordinating Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture, Republic of The Gambia. He has held various positions both in the public and private sectors. These include, Director of Administration at the Department of Agriculture, Project Coordinator of the Rural Finance Project, General Manager of Transphere Printing Service, Managing Director of Leo Agro-Marketing Company, General Manager SME at Standard Chartered Bank Gambia Limited, Banking Officer at Guaranty Trust Bank Gambia Limited, and Supervisor at Lloyds TSB Private banking.

Ebrima Jawara was born in Tenerife and educated at Gambia High School, Lancing College and the University of Reading. He has worked on the publication of Kairaba, the autobiography of his father, Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara. His role was to oversee the business aspect of the book's publication as well as editing. Ebrima Jawara is married with children and is a keen golfer.

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