The City of Banjul made history by electing its first female mayor. Mayoress-elect Rohey Malick Lowe will be the first woman to steer the affairs of The Gambia's capital; which houses the country's Central Bank and is the country's economic and administrative center.
Rohey Malick Lowe follows the footsteps of her father Malik Lowe who was also once a mayor of the city running and winning under the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) ticket. She won her seat in the first mayoral polls after Yahya Jammeh's party lost presidential hold on Banjul in the December 2016 elections. The election ended Jammeh's two decade rule of The Gambia.
In the election Lowe beat another woman, Lizzie Eunson, a Banker by profession who was vying for the mayoral seat of the Banjul City Council, under an Independent ticket.
On her a Go Fund Me page published in February 2018, Lowe spoke of the 22 year executive neglect the city Of Banjul has and its need for structures that will tackle that neglect. Lowe noted she will assume this task as a citizen responsibility, and expressed her dedication to get in the trenches with the people of Banjulian, and with their help, give them all "the City We Deserve!". She said, "Banjul as a City is in a bad shape, and it would require pragmatic, visionary leadership with a progressive team and established structures to make that happen."
At a rally the new mayor indicated that one of her priorities is to ensure that the youth and women of Banjul, are empowered through skills and entrepreneurship training. "I will ensure that the youth are assisted in their education up to University level."
Lowe also told 'Banjulians' that it is time that they gave a woman the chance to lead the City's affairs and they rewarded her by doing just that.
Her other priority areas will include but are not limited to: Sanitation, Municipal Economy and Public Infrastructure.
A good year for women leaders
Rohey Malick Lowe is the second mayoress to be elected in West Africa this year after Sierra Leone's Yvonne Aki Sawyerr who in March became the first woman since 1980 to emerge as Freetown's mayor.
AfricaNews quoted Sawyerr saying after the election, "Freetonians this victory is for all of us. Thank you for believing in my vision and for giving me the honor to serve as your Mayor for the next four years. I look forward to working with all of you to make Freetown a city we are all proud of."
According to records from the National Electoral Commission (NEC), the Chartered Accountant who had run on the ticket of the ruling Sierra Leone, All Peoples Congress (APC), beat five other competitors (all men) to the seat, polling over 309,000 votes which represented 59.92% of the votes.