15 June 2017

Gambia: At Last Barrow Will Talk to Us

Finally, the new government is to put in place a communication that would outline ways and means that the government and the president, himself, would talk to the masses, albeit periodically.

This is good for good governance and citizen participation in our democracy. It will settle the acrimony cause by the lack of communication from the government to the population on matters that the people need to know.

From now on, the press conference to be undertaken by the president will give the media an opportunity to ask questions that are topical and gauge government position on pressing issues. The government, on the other hand, can inform the public via the media of all the policies, programmes and activities that they so badly are eager to hear.

The public is so impatient for they do not know what the fine details of what their government is up to. The new communication strategy will clear that anxiety.

In the last couple of weeks, a lot of events had happened in our peaceful Gambia. Yet we did not hear a lot from the government. We know it took the Interior Minister days to release a statement on the Kanilai incident, for example. Within that time, speculations have been rife and rumours have been tainting the image of the government, and the country by extension.

We are all witnesses to the urgency of a solution to the chronic power problems facing the country; yet the government continues to stay mute over the matter. We expect the government to hold press conferences and give the public, through the journalists, the opportunity to clarify certain fundamental issues.

That was an election campaign promise and we are expecting them to stick to their words as the public is anxious for answers.

Frequent press releases emanating from the Office of the President are not sufficient. They do very little in providing valuable information that the journalists are seeking. We need more face-to-face question and answer sessions with our public officials.

Communication is so important in this age that we are living in. In some African governments, the journalists are fed with information on a daily basis by their governments - about projects, developments, about issues of concern, etc. This is really important with the new government.

So let us keep communicating, communicating and communicating!


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