Tuesday, February 19, 2013

How does the teacher dress is not your business, President Jammeh tells students

President Yahya Jammeh on Monday told Gambian students who gathered at the McCarthy Square in Banjul to witness activities marking the country’s 48th Independence Anniversary that the dress code of their teachers is not their business; rather they should focus on the knowledge the teacher is imparting in them.

Students on a march-past during the 48th independence of The Gambia
“You are not judges of your teachers; how does the teacher dress is not your business,” President Jammeh told the students.  “It is not the teacher that is important but the knowledge that the teacher is imparting in you. 

“If you have no discipline, let me assure you that you will fail in life; if you don’t respect your teachers, tomorrow you will be a teacher or a leader and nobody will respect you.” 

The Gambian leader told students that Allah the Almighty reciprocates what one does to another. Therefore, he says, students should respect their teachers so they can also be respected tomorrow. 

In the same vein, President Jammeh also called on parents, especially the fathers, to stop shying away from responsibilities and leaving all the burden of their schoolchildren on the mothers. 

He said: “If you don’t take responsibility for your children today, if they grow up and graduate, they will only know those who took responsibility of them when they were young, and that is their mothers and then you will start telling the mother ‘you have turned my children against me’. No! You turn your own children against you.  So, take responsibility and tomorrow they will know who you are.”  

To the students again, President Jammeh said students now have facilities that were not there during his time of going to school.  He urged the students therefore to make best use of the facilities available to them by working hard and be serious about their education. 

“For you to get rich or get a better future, you have to work hard for it,” the President said, while emphasising that students should take their education seriously. 

Without education, he notes, The Gambia and Africa at large can never get out of poverty because “our biggest disease today is ignorance and ignorance cannot be eradicated by any type of political philosophy but through education”.

“That is why education is dear to my heart; that is why for you The Gambian children the sky is very close; now the outer space will be the limit,” Jammeh said. 

“As long as you are serious - my policy is not whom you know but what you know; my policy is not what tribe you belong to but how well you are ready to perform; my policy is not which village you come from but how dedicated you are to national development.”

Solution to Africa’s poverty

Insurers’ credit union makes waves despite teething challenges

The credit union of the insurers has made some progress and registered achievement within one year of its establishment despite facing some difficulties in the beginning. 

The Insurance Association of The Gambia Cooperative Credit Union (IAGCCU) on Friday held its maiden annual general meeting (AGM) at the Laico Atlantic Hotel in Banjul where the executive of the union disclosed to the members the modest achievements made by the union in the face of adversities.

The executive members of the association said they found it difficult initially to have the confidence of the insurers to be members of the credit union.

Lamin Yarboe, chairman of the executive committee of the credit union, said that at the beginning, they found it very difficult even to have working capital for the credit union. 

“We approached all the companies in the industry but none of them was willing to give us the needed money,” he said. 

He noted that the one-year journey was not very smooth but by dint of hard work, dedication and determination to succeed, coupled with the support of the members of the credit union, they were able to make it.

Mr Yarboe thanked Henry Jawo, secretary general of the Insurance Association of The Gambia (IAG), for his support, words of courage and wisdom during the difficult times of the credit union.

“When we started the credit union, we did not have a penny but thank God today we are giving loans, which is a testimony of how far we have gone,”  said Raymond Ceesay, vice chairman of the credit union.

The treasurer of the credit union, Sirrah Jammeh, said the total savings of the union for the year under review is D220,200. 

She said the credit union has started giving loans and gave D81,400 in 2012, and from January to 15 February 2013 it has disbursed more than D90,000 as loan.

The byelaws of the IAGCCU state that members are only entitled to loans or withdrawals after six months of regular savings, and the loans of the credit union attract an interest rate of 1.25% per month.  All the loans given by the credit union as of now are on short- and medium-term basis.

GTBank team crash insurers in friendly match

Guaranty Trust Bank Gambia Limited on Friday defeated by one goal to nil the team of the Insurance Association of The Gambia (IAG), which comprised insurance practitioners from various insurance companies.

Played at the Father Gough Sports Complex in Manjai Kunda, both the first and the second halves of the match were dominated by GTBank, who played the insurance practitioners like professionals against amateurs. 

The insurers justified this by saying the bankers usually train together hence they have that collective fitness.

However, the banks in the country operate six days in a week while the insurance companies only operate for five days so they have more days to train than the bankers.

The bankers scored their first goal in the 15th minute of play but this was ruled out by the central referee as off-side. 
The first half ended goalless, as the bankers failed to take advantage of their numerous goal-scoring opportunities created. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

'Poor public perception of insurance caused by lack of knowledge'

Mr Jagana
President of Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry

The poor public image of the insurance industry is due to the fact that people do not have much knowledge about insurance and even some of the people who are purportedly knowledgeable on the subject, by being insured, do not read to know the terms and conditions of their policy hence do not know what is covered and what is not, the president of the GCCI has said.

Speaking at a forum on the “Contribution of insurance stakeholders towards eradicating the poor public image of the industry” organized by the Insurance Association of The Gambia as part of a weeklong sensitization campaign dubbed Insurance Awareness Week, Mr Muhammed Jagana of the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry said the majority of policyholders take an insurance cover just because they are required by law to insure their vehicles, or require insurance coverage for visa applications.

‘Public Private Partnership should be strengthened if Gambia is to develop’

The Gambia private sector players have strongly observed that the only way to maintain and further strengthen the economic development of the country is to make stronger the partnership between the public and the private sectors.

This statement was made at a day-long forum on the ‘Prospects and Opportunities of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in The Gambia’ organised by the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) held at the Coco Ocean Resort and Spa Hotel in Bijilo.

The forum attracted stakeholders from both the public and private sectors to discuss ways and means to strengthen the partnership between the two sectors.

Almami Taal, CEO of Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Speaking on the occasion, Almami Fanding Taal, chief executive officer of GCCI, noted that PPP has the advantage for government in the areas of resource mobilisation, access to expert skills, increased efficiency, and would also ease the burden on public budgets, and improve delivery of services.

When strengthened, PPP can increase access to markets and job creation.

He stressed that a well-planned PPP can sustain the economic growth of the country which will also benefits all sectors of the economy.

Monday, February 11, 2013

BAJ Gambia to be launched today

BAJ National Coordinator, Abdourahman Sallah

The Network of Biodiversity of Action Journalists (BAJ), an environmental and natural resources youth-led organization, will today 11 February commence a two-day programme to officially launch its Gambia Chapter at the Association of Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) conference hall in Kanifing.

The first day of the event, the official launching, will be graced by dignitaries from the Ministry of Energy, Department of Water Resources, Fisheries Department, the UNDP, FAO, the World Wildlife Fund, National Environment Agency, National Assembly Members and other sectors of society. 
On the second day of the event there will be a capacity building programme for its members.

The objectives of the programme include raising public awareness on the environmental threats to encourage local community participation in protection and conservation of the country’s biological and natural resources for prosperity.

Weeklong insurance awareness campaign kick-starts today

A weeklong sensitization campaign that seeks to further increase the understanding of the general public of insurance and insurance policies to lay the foundation for building a trusting relationship between insurance providers and the public has started in earnest.

Organised by the Insurance Association of The Gambia (IAG), as part of its information, education and clarification programme, the Insurance Awareness Week (IAW), which started today Monday, is an inspirational industry campaign which unites those who share an interest in elevating public awareness about the progress and benefits of The Gambia insurance industry.

The theme of this year’s edition, which is the third of its kind, is ‘Contribution of insurance stakeholders towards eradicating the poor public image of the industry’ and will run from 11 to 16 February 2013.

Like the previous editions of the campaign, this year the organizers said the campaign seeks to basically pave way for a more insurance responsive public by providing better understanding of insurance to the public thereby improving the public image of the industry hence developing public interest in insurance.

As part of the campaign, there will be a sponsored walk today starting from the International Insurance Company’s branch on Kairaba Avenue and ending at the head office of Capital Express Assurance Company located at Sankung Sillah Building along Kairaba Avenue, where statements will be delivered by various insurance technocrats.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Gambia’s aid implementation to be monitored by UN

The United Nations System in The Gambia, which consists of UN agencies in the country, will now be periodically assessing, and sharing with other stakeholders, the real progress of The Gambia in implementing programmes and projects under the government as a way of strengthening the country’s aid effectiveness and accountability.

This was disclosed by Dr Babagana Ahmadu, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s Representative in The Gambia, at the Joint Annual Review of the United Nation’s Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) held on Thursday at the Laico Atlantic Hotel in Banjul. 

The UNDAF is the overall framework that governs the coordination and implementation of the United Nations System interventions in The Gambia.

Dr Ahmadu stressed that the United Nations System will work together to be able to achieve aid effectiveness to improve development performance in the country.

In this respect, he said, it is very important to bring down the transaction costs for both the UN and the government and to reduce duplication and overlaps, as well as to increase the effectiveness of aid coordination and development assistance to The Gambia.

However, the FAO Country Representative noted that the UN System in The Gambia remains committed to ensuring that The Gambia government receives the support they require to maintain the country as a place of peace, security, harmony and prosperity for all.