Hello Kerr Fatou,
Since corruption is the theme of just concluded AU summit in Mauritania, I would spell out some of the reasons why people such as me are not one of the massive admirers of foreign dependency. In my previous articles I slightly touched on the appetite for corruption, particularly in sub-Saharan African countries and the prolific nature of nepotism which drives corruption. I bet you anything, the embezzlement of public fund in Africa is largely exacerbated by our culture of dependency on others.
Traditionally, the dominant assumption is that the major cause of corruption in the world is heightened greed – without remorse for the poor and disadvantaged – which is prevalent in capitalist societies, as well as lack of transparency and accountability.
However, this is not always the case in Africa. We often overlook the following facts: in tribal societies like the Gambia, nepotism and misconception regarding virtuous gains through tribal loyalty…social norms such as our culture of dependency on others….unscrupulous politicians giving cash to the public in order to solicit favour from the electorate, are the major causes of corruption in Africa today. Thus, the executive, civil servants and public officialsat large are all under enormous genuine pressure to provide employment and other opportunities mainly to members of their families, tribes, clans and close associates. In addition to this mess, ironically, when you are in a position of earning, and you fail to financially support your extended families and friends, you risk of bulling and unconstructive criticism from them. The end result is this – living beyond your means makes corruption inevitable.
Additionally, due to our culture of dependency on those living in the diaspora – known as “semesters”with compassion – the semesters feel compelled to provide cash, like a cash machine (ATM) in the high street by frequently sending money and materials in order to support their families and friends back home. Consequently, whatever income they earn becomes expenditure rather than investment.As a result, due to these underlying issues, our economies are saturated and the majority of our citizens minds are stagnated, which means that in order to sustain our economy, future resources have to come from elsewhere; i.e. foreign aid and hand-outs from semesters.
My message to President Barrow
Mr President, self-reliance is the answer to this dilemma.
If you recall, in the first republic we were promised that the Gambian’s economy would boom like that of Singapore but sadly it never materialised. Again, in the second republic we were promised that the Gambia would soon be prosperous like Dubai in the Gulf but instead it ended in spectacular disappointment.
Your Excellency,in order to achieve your NDP 2018-2021goals you need to send a fact finding mission to the Republic of Botswana so that the Gambia can emulate their economic models from all aspects meaning that, the country development initiatives first has to start from educational reforms as well as cultural revelations. Without these, your NDP goals might struggle to realise its potential. Nevertheless, I wish you and your new cabinet the best of luck.