Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Agriculture in Sare Alpha: Labour work reduces while yield increases

At least 200 hundred kilometres from Basse, the regional capital of Upper River Region (URR), is Sare Alpha.  It is a traditional agrarian village, like many other communities in the region and in The Gambia as a whole.
At the village, the main preoccupation of all is subsistence farming. 
Since the formation of the village, at least 200 years ago, they have been alternatively farming on the same piece of land using the same traditional farming methods and with little modification on the materials used.  The harvest has almost been the same year in, year out.  
But unlike some other traditional communities, the villagers of Sare Alpha are receptive to change, change for the better.  At the first visit of the officials of the Nema project and at the introduction of the concept of Farmer Field School (FFS), the villager jumped at it.
‘Nema’, is a Mandinka word adopted as the name of an International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)-financed project in The Gambia.  The seven-year project is designed to reduce the poverty of rural women and youth with the objective of increasing income by improving rice and vegetable productivities.

Cohesion due to education: Benefits of literacy in URR

By Lamin Jahateh

Sare Alpha and Julangel are two villages in Upper River Region (URR) benefiting from a functional literacy programme being funded by a government project.  The two villages are largely inhabited by two different ethnic groups with distinctive cultures and traditions. 
But one of the similarities of the two cultures and traditions is that women do things on their own, with support from men, and men do things largely independent of women.
This segregation is largely very pronounced and prominent in Julangel, a Sarahule community.  At the village, women do not sit at the bantaba, not for any reason, and men do not go to the market, except in rear circumstances.  But the village market and the bantaba are directly opposite, just the road that divides the village into two almost equal halves also separates the bantaba from the market. 

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Presidential candidate without high school qualification ineligible – legal expert

By Lamin Jahateh
Lawyer Malick H.B. Jallow

Based on the Constitution of The Gambia, any candidate who does not have evidence of completing a minimum of senior secondary school education is deemed ineligible to be president, said a legal expert.

Malick H.B. Jallow, legal practitioner and senior law lecturer at the University of The Gambia, said the rationale for minimum education requirement stipulated in the constitution for president is to ensure that presidential candidates have a sufficient amount of exposure to formal education that will enable them deal effectively with the role of president.

The Point newspaper recently had an exclusive interview with Lawyer Jallow on the legal interpretation of Section 62 of the Constitution, which outlines the minimum requirement to be president.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Number of Gambians defaulting in repaying loans increased significantly

The number of people who took various kinds of loan from the banks in The Gambia and failed to pay has increased considerably in 2013, the Central Bank of The Gambia (CBG) says in a report.

The ratio of Non-performing loans (NPLs), loans given to customers which they failed to pay back, increased significantly, from 12.1 per cent in 2012 to 19 per cent in 2013, the quarterly report, released on Friday, of the Monetary Policy Committee of the CBG states.

The intense competition in the banking industry has left commercial banks in the country rocking the boat of bad debts.  This is due to unprecedented increased in lending to both the public and private sectors, which unfortunately led to increased risks of NPLs.

Vulnerable to bad debts

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Monies from foreign donors to Gambia government reduced significantly in 2013

US Dollar notes
Grants to The Gambia, moneys donated by multinational organisations and foreign governments, had reduced by more than D1 billion (about US$ 2,632,000) in 2013, statistics from Central Bank of The Gambia (CBG) has indicates.  

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the CBG states in its quarterly report, released on Friday, that grants (to The Gambia) declined significantly from D1.8 billion (US$  5, 260, 000) in 2012 to D725.1 million (US$ 2,000,000) in 2013.

The Committee has not given any reason for this negative development.  However, in 2013, President Jammeh abruptly withdrew The Gambia from the Commonwealth, and also cut diplomatic relations with Taiwan; an organization, and a country that used to donate to the country.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Powering Gambia on solar energy can lower electricity bills

The use of solar energy as an alternative to fossil fuel can greatly reduce heavy electricity bills on Gambian consumers, a report by the International Energy Agency states.

The report has it that the development of reasonably priced, inexhaustible and clean solar technology will have significant long-term benefits for The Gambia’s electricity tariffs.

Solar energy could be Gambia’s predominant source of energy for decades to come and perhaps a lasting solution to the country’s energy problems, the report added.

It also states that solar energy will increase the country’s energy security, reduce pollution, lower costs of tackling climate change and keep fossil fuel prices lower than otherwise.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

West African accountants urge to cooperate with other authorities to tackle money laundering

Dr Abdullahi Shehu, DG of GIABA
Accountants in the West African sub-region should cooperate and collaborate with relevant authorities in their countries to curb the menace of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing (ML and FT), said the director general of the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA).

Dr Abdullahi Shehu said accountants across the sub-region should cooperate with authorities like the police, lawyers, and other law enforcement agencies in customer identification, and record keeping and reporting of suspicious transactions.  This is cognizance of the fact that the fight against the twin evils of ML/TF required concerted efforts.

Dr Shehu made this statement on Wednesday in Banjul during the beginning of a two-day regional training on Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Financing of Terrorism (AML and CFT) requirements for accountants.   

The training, which is organised by GIABA, is being attended by accountants from English-speaking countries in the sub-region namely Ghana, The Gambia, Nigeria, Liberia and Sierra Leone.  It is meant to enhance the capacity of participants to enable them fulfil their obligations to adopt and implement AML and CFT measures.  Such measures include risk assessment and application of the risk-based approach to AML and CFT implementation.

Dr Shehu noted that if the expertise of accountants is provided to a criminal enable them (the criminals) to legitimatise their illegal funds through money laundering, the process of legitimisation of illegally acquired money in order to hide its true source. 

“It is therefore critical that accountants and accounting professionals are aware of and thus, are required to exercise due diligence and consistently monitor transactions of their clients to ensure accurate and meaningful disclosures of suspicion of illegal activity,” the GIABA DG said.

As financial professionals, accountants cannot afford to be complacent when it to being involved in the laundering or criminal proceeds. 

GIABA DG told the accountants: “You are expected to be on the lookout for possible criminal activities because, even if you are judged to have been unaware of the full nature of a client’s shady business, you will still be subject to legal or professional penalties at the end of the day.”