Friday, September 21, 2012

Gambia News Online publisher attends media freedom and responsibility training in Ghana

Lamin Jahateh, editor and publisher of this blog, on Sunday left Banjul for Accra, Ghana, to attend a two-week intensive course on “Freedom and Responsibility in the Media”.

Lamin Jahateh
 The course, which is for journalists from member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), is organised by the International Institute for Journalism (IIJ), a Germany-based organization that seeks to enhance the professional performance of journalists across the world.

Conducted in cooperation with the Ghana International Press Centre in Accra, the course will take place from 17 to 28 September 2012.

According to the organisers, the course aims to examine the interdependence between quality and ethics in journalism.

Mr Jahateh, who left together with three other journalists from different media houses in the country, said:  “The training will strengthen and enhance my advocacy for freedom of expression in The Gambia and thus to improve the conditions for democratisation and economic and social development.”

Friday, September 14, 2012

IAG bolsters leadership skills of senior insurance practitioners

The Insurance Association of the Gambia on Friday commenced a two-day leadership retreat for managing directors and chief executive officers alongside other senior officials of various insurance companies in the country to equip them with advanced leadership and communications skills so as effectively and efficiently lead, motivate and maximise team performance.

The retreat, which also drew participants from the Central Bank of The Gambia including the Commissioner of Insurance, Pa Alieu Sillah, was conducted by the Executive Group, Gambia-based international consulting firm, and held at the Kairaba Beach Hotel in Kololi.
It was meant to augment the knowledge and skills of the senior insurance practitioners in order to broaden their understanding of best practices in leadership and communication with a view to attune some attitudes towards performance as well service oriented culture.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

YJAG 5th anniversary slated for September 16

On 16th September this year, the Young Journalists Association of The Gambia will be five years old and as such the association is to hold a day-long symposium on the day at the new secretariat of the Gambia Press Union, in Fajara, to mark the anniversary.

A news release from the association has it that the theme of this year’s anniversary is: “Promoting Professionalism Through Capacity Building”, and a number of lectures in line with theme are to be delivered on the day by veteran journalists in the country.

Lamin Jahateh, YJAG secretary general
Besides, as dictated by the constitution of the association, the secretary general, Lamin Jahateh, will give a report of the activities of the association for the past year; and the treasurer, Sulayman Ceesay, will deliver a report on the state of the finances of the association.  

All members of the association and aspiring members are urged to attend.  In the same vein, all press clubs, particularly press clubs at Gambia College, St. Augustine Senior Secondary School, Nustrat Senior Secondary School, Kotu Senior Secondary School, among others are invited to the anniversary. The programme starts by 09:00 sharp.

Diplomats, government officials, media chiefs, YJAG board members and other partners of the association are expected to grace this august occasion.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Nigerian Bank in Gambia sells shares to increase capital requirement

Skye Bank Gambia Limited, subsidiary of Skye Bank Plc in Nigeria, is in the process of selling about D100,000 worth of its shares to a foreign financial institution through private placement to meet the Central Bank of The Gambia’s directive that all banks in the country must augment their capital to D200 million by the end of this year, the paper can reveal. 

Impeccable sources close to this paper states further that the bank is in negotiation with some international financial institutions targeted for private placement, which is the sale of securities, including shares, of a company to a small number of selected investors as a way of raising capital.

Private placement is an attractive alternative for growing companies and it is a quicker form of raising money for a business.

Skye Bank Gambia MD, Mr Yusuf
Skye Bank’s Managing Director Akim Yusuf has confirmed the transactions but says “we are still in the preliminary stages”.

He explains further: “What we have agreed with the international financial institutions is to increase our capital by D100 million; so rather than the [additional] D50 million that the Central Bank is asking for, we have actually found an agreement for a D100 million (increment).” 

Mr Yusuf added that the bank is going to have above D200 million at the Central Bank by the end of this year. 

“Our target is D250 million but in case of any disappointment or shortfall from the side of the financial institutions, it will still be more than the D200 statutory capital requirement,” MD Yusuf said, adding: “Even in the case of a shortfall, from the work we have done we will not be below D210 or D220 million by the end of the year.” 

The Skye Bank boss said some of the financial institutions have already made financial commitment, not just on paper but by handing out cash.  “So we are very hopeful that the exercise is going to be a success,” he said.

Gambia: Vast investment opportunities but inaccessible by private sector

Economic operators in The Gambia have noted that the country has vast opportunities for investment but government stance of not opening up for intervention into some strategic areas by the private sector has hindered the ability to make more investments in such areas.

Some of the vital sectors for investment have been tried in vain by members of the private sector due to government’s protectionism, which makes it difficult for investor capital to find their way into them.

Mr Touray
For instance, the major infrastructural sectors are really not open to private sector participation, the president of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham), Abdoulie Baks Touray, has said in an interview with this paper.

Mr Touray observed that one of the key areas the government has refused to open up for private sector participation is the ferry services. 

Some time ago, he noted, some members of the private sector including himself did a feasibility study for possible investment in sea transport, such as ferry services, and found out that there are untapped potentials in this area the private sector can explore.

But, according to the business and financial analyst, they were later made to understand that ferry services is a no-go area for the private sector. “It is reserved for the public sector intervention,” Mr Touray said.

Gambia Public/Private Sector players brainstorm on reliable and affordable energy services

Public and private sector operators from different institutions in The Gambia on 7th September completed a five-day training that discussed issues relating to sustainable development of the Ecowas Renewable Energy Strategy in West Africa.

The training, organised by the Ministry of Energy in collaboration with the University of The Gambia, focused on developing strategies for effective and sustainable use of the Ecowas Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREE) in The Gambia and other Ecowas member states.

The regional initiative has been undertaken to improve access to a more modern, reliable and affordable energy services, and energy security, among others.

The institutional stakeholders also looked at issues relating to reduction of negative energy related to externalities, such as local pollution, and Green House Gas emissions through dissemination of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RE&EE) technologies and services.