I have observed with keen interest that wherever and whenever Gambians gather the discussion is about how can we develop our country and how can we increase living standards of our people. This shows there is real hunger for the socioeconomic advancement of the motherland. I also observed that the atmosphere under which such discussions are carried out are relaxed and free from intimation as top government officials are seen arguing with ordinary citizens on matters of national concerns. Such atmospheres are a product of real democracy, freedom of expression and associations and most importantly citizens taking ownership of the affairs of their country.
There is hope in the future of the country. The journey maybe long before we arrive at the desired destination or to reach the promise land but with determination and purposefulness the country will definitely arrive. The government should should focus on the most pressing issues especially issues around health care, food security, revenue maximisation and eradicating corruption. Corruption is cancerous and nearly moribund most Africans economies in the past. The quickest and surest way to limit corruption in this day an age is employing technology in revenue collection. Many countries around the world and most recently in Africa use technology for most of their financial transactions. Use of technology will not only increase our revenue earnings but it will make government effective and efficient in service delivery.
Unemployment is another key priority area the government MUST pay attention to. Most of the young people of this country are jobless and some don’t even have skills to be engaged in the informal sector. The challenge for the government in this area is monumental, however I think there are solutions both short and long term.
The government need to build factories across the country and encourage Gambians to work in those factories. Building factories across the country will not only massively decrease unemployment but also abundantly reduced rural urban drift. The government should also critically evaluate our education system especially the curriculum. People should be educated in area that can earn them employment after graduation. The government should or must invest in science and technology and encourage citizens to study those programs as that will be key to both high productivity and job creation in the country. The Technical Trainning institutions should be revived and adequately resourced so that citizens can learn trades that would either earn them employment or become self employed.
Meanwhile, the recently concluded met the people’s tour has loads of goody announcements punctuated in it. If all these big announcements come to fruition, I have no doubt the country would move to near takeoff towards the desired destination.
The President of the Republic, has set himself a clear vision and direction in his National Development Plan. He if follows through those plan, The Gambia will turn to be the envy of the subregion. Our country is one of the nicest countries on planet earth. We is just lack the resources and prerequisite infrastructure to be heaven on earth. It’s only in The Gambia, that the poor is willing to share the little he/she has with his/her neighbour. People smile in this country even when they are hungry and or suffering. These attributes of Gambians is unique and MUST be cherished. It’s what make us special.
May Allah SWT continue to bless our motherland.