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President Barrow wraps meetings in URR

The President H.E Adama Barrow wrapped up his Meet the People Tour in the Upper River Region with a meeting in Koli Bantang in Wuli West, which was also attended by constituents from Wuli East and Sandu.Issues surrounding agriculture,  road infrastructure,  electricity and horticulture dominated the agenda with speakers calling on government to increase investments to help local communities. The Lady councillor Fatoumata Saho led the chorus, commending the President for the numerous developments that have transformed the region. The youth representative Yorro Camara and Fansainey Barrow called for more government support to enhance agricultural production in the region,  arguing that the URR has the potential to produce enough to meet the needs of the people. As the prices of basic foodstuff increases beyond the reach of ordinary people,  Fansainey Barrow called for a radical shift to boost local production. Mbemba Jabbi also appealed to government to revise the tariff at the Samba Juma bridge as the toll is deemed too high for local drivers, and commuters who now use boats to cross the river.Chief Momodou Bah of Wuli West expressed gratitude to the President for what he called his commendable response to current coat of living crisis, which he attributed to external factors, urging Gambians to turn these challenges into opportunities.The Governor of the Upper River Region Samba Bah said his region has seen unprecedented developments under President Barrow, urging people to nurture the prevailing peace and stability. The Governor said several rural communities in the region have benefitted from the NAFAA cash transfer initiative designed to reduce poverty amongst farmers, whilst also revealing plans to construct a regional hospital in Giroba Kunda.The Minister of Works, Construction and Infrastructure Ebrima Sillah said the next five years will be momentous for the URR as studies have already been completed for the construction of half a dozen feeder roads across the region. He road projects, the Minister added will be funded from the national budget in line with the President's development agenda which priorities infrastructure as the engine of economic growth. The Minister of Regional Government and Lands Abba Sanyang expressed concern with the indiscriminate dumping of waste in public places, adding that government is exploring possibilities of re-introducing the monthly cleansing exercises across the country.  The Lands Minister also urged local communities to resolve land related disputes peacefully, as these conflicts could upend the existing peace and stability in the country.The President H.E Adama Barrow closed the meeting, commending the people of Wuli and Sandu for the impressive turnout.  The President harped on the importance of dialogue in fostering understanding amongst people,  describing the tour ad an important platform for exchange of views on national development. The President said his government has laid a robust foundation for socio-economic and infrastructural development,  adding that the next five years will usher in more opportunities for citizens. With the groundnut trade season beginning on December 1st, President Barrow announced that government has increased the price of a ton from D28000 to D3200, to help farmers. Speaking about the current economic situation,  President Barrow blamed the covid19 pandemic for disrupting supply chains across the world leading to a rise in prices of basic commodities,  but reassured that government has taken adequate steps to stabilise prices. Responding to appeals for more electricity access, President Barrow revealed that more than 200 villages will get electricity in URR.The President also addressed concerns raised by some speakers about the recent introduction of a toll at the Samba Juma bridge,  saying the fee is justified to enable government raise funds for the upkeep of the bridge. The construction of the bridge,  President Barrow added has made life easier for residents as it is safer, quicker and cheaper compared to the boats. He therefore advised communities to take ownership of the bridge and shun detractors who are bent on inciting people against the government, using social media as part of a wider political campaign. The President concluded by reassuring people that the funds generated will be used for development purposes to serve the welfare of Gambians.The tour continues in the CRR with planned meetings in Jarreng and Bansang.

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CLASH OF HEAVYWEIGHTS; YAYA JAMMEH TAKES ON FLEX

Wrestling fans will be treated to what pundits believe to be an intriguing encounter on Sunday 13th November as Yaya Jammeh of club Gambia Police Force and Flex of club Tallinding Japoo size up at the Serekunda West Mini Stadium. The two Gambian heavyweights will fight to claim the Fabakary Tomboung Jatta (FJT) Speaker of the Gambia's National Assemblyflag. Flex will be looking to build on his surprising victory over Boga last season.  The Tallinding-based wrestler returned from a two-year sabbatical. Yaya Jammeh a Police Officer also triumphed over Manduwarr in his last bout. The Sanyang-based wrestler will be looking to continue his winning run.The event organised by Gumbo Gaye Promotion will feature other bouts as Bala Niamina of club Abuko Mbolo takes on Buwassor of club Nema Mbolo, Boy Gaye of club Ama Academy battles with Papa Sowe of club Kotu Mbolo, Modou Gadai of club New Jeshwang Mbolo wrestles with Malam Niani of club Tallinding United, Bebe Gineh and Koche Barma of club Tanji Mbolo faceoff, Bulfaleh of club Brikama Mbolo fights with Bebe London of club Serekunda Gom Sa Rew, CFA of club Tallinding Japoo wrestles with Kartus of Feke Masi Boleh while Scorpion of club Jeff Jel battles it out with Volume of club Ebo Town Mbolo. Elsewhere, Findiferr of club Nema Saku Ham will take on Kani Bu Sew in the traditional freestyle (roffo) and Artist of club Ndungu Kebbeh takes on American of club Terminal Mbolo. There will also be bouts that will feature comedians to entertain the crowd before the start of the proper combats. 

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    National Health Insurance Authority develop health benefit package for the National Health Insurance Scheme

    The National Health Insurance Authority on Tuesday began a three-day meeting to discuss the development of a health benefits package for the National Health Insurance Scheme across the country. The meeting brought together medical and health experts to map out targeted disease or service areas, for the essential healthcare package. The Minister of Health Dr. Amadou Lamin Samateh said the Authority is engaging medical and health experts to identify critical areas under the scheme. He said the development of the scheme will accelerate efforts to meet SDG 2030. The health minister also said that the Health Insurance Scheme would be available to both the public and private health facilities. The World Health Organization’s country representative Dr. Desta Tiruneh advised participants to consider the benefits package in line with available resources for health care service delivery. 

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    Awa Gambia launches Debut Album

    Thousands of people thronged the Penchami Hall on Saturday to witness the maiden album launching of Awa Jonga commonly called Awa Gambia. The new music sensation’s taking over album got high ratings from music enthusiasts, the media, and many Gambian musicians. The Sen Petite Galle contestant attracts a large following on social media since the release of “meuno ci mann dara”. The event was witnessed by high-profile individuals including the First Lady Madam Fatou Bah Barrow.

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    CLASSY BRIKAMA LEAVES GUNJUR'S DREAM IN RUINS

    The outstanding unbeaten dominance shown by the defending champions Gunjur could have only been complemented by adding a super cup title, but those dreams were left in ruins, as Brikama thrashed them 3 - 0 in the Super Cup of the West Coast Region Zonal Championship to put an end to their dominance, at a jam-packed Boxbar mini-stadium.Gunjur made a bright start and forced Brikama into conceding a penalty within two minutes as Brikama's goalkeeper Ebrima Fadera was penalised for a foul on Babucarr Bojang, but the goalkeeper make amends for his error to save Babucarr Bojang's penalty and also a follow-up strike. Brikama then opened the scoring from the resulting attack as the prolific Saikou Ceesay poked home a rebound after the Gunjur custodian Ousman Touray parried a cross to his path. In their efforts to restore parity before the break, Gunjur's Baba Colley had a header ricochet the crossbar and Celestin Jatta also had a goal-bound header, headed out by a Brikama defender on the goal line as Brikama headed into the interval with a slender advantage. Whatever Brikama was told during the halftime team talk, was executed by the players as they add to their lead within a minute after the restart - when diminutive Bubacarr Sanneh fired home a screamer to draw wild celebrations from the home crowd. Even with that 2 - 0 lead, it appears Brikama did not have Gunjur their way, and they duly added a third goal to brush aside any hopes of a Gunjur comeback. It was the diminutive Babucarr Sanneh again who orchestrated a destructive Brikama attack down the right where he exchanged passes before sneaking into the box to fire a shot out of the reach of the rushing Gunjur goalkeeper for his second goal, and Brikama's third. That sealed a  comfortable 3 - 0 win over the champions Gunjur, much to the disbelief of their traveling supporters and to the delight of home supporters. The 'our land our cup' chants before and during the game by the Brikama supporters, ultimately turned into reality as Brikama clinched the super cup to serve notice to the rest of the teams about their title ambitions.Up against a gritty and physically powerful side, Gunjur were not just beaten, they were torn apart, ripped to pieces by a Brikama side blend with young talented, and experienced players. Whether Brikama will be able to show a performance like this in their away fixtures, is a question for another day, but, they have shown it in front of their home supporters in this Super Cup, against a side they have not beaten in their last four meetings, only managing a single draw. Brikama did not deserve to be in the Super Cup after finishing 4th in last season's campaign, but they deserve this victory against Gunjur. They were selected to play in the Super Cup after the runners Sanyang confirm their participation lately and Brikama took advantage of the rare opportunity coupled with home support to inflict heavy revenge on Gunjur, a side that thrashed them 6 - 2 on aggregate in the semi-finals en route to this stage. If the performance of Gunjur last season make people believe that a title defense is a possibility for the Kombo South giants, this scoreline against a purposeful Brikama side will cast doubts over those beliefs.

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    Agric. Minister Launches the African Emergency Food Production Facility

    The Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Demba Sabally, on Friday 23rd September 2022 launched the African Emergency Food Production Facility (AEFPF). The facility is supported by the African Development Bank through the Rice Value Chain Transformation Project (RVCTP).The AEFPF is additional financing that follows the joint meeting of the Minister of Agriculture and the Minister of Finance of the African Union on the African Emergency Food Production plan in which The Gambia participated. Speaking at the launching ceremony, Dr. Sabally informed the gathering that the Government of The Gambia is taking major strides to transform the Agriculture sector in addressing food security and meeting the nutritional needs of its people.He noted The Gambia’s high dependence on imports for staple and key commodities and said it has deepened the country’s vulnerability to external shocks such as global pandemics and crises.  

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    NATIONAL ASSEMBLY LIBRARY & RESEARCH DEPARTMENT TRAINS STAFF

    The Library and Research Department of the National Assembly of The Gambia certified participants to a weeklong training on Library Management and Research skills on Friday 30th September 2022.The objective of the training was to strengthen the capacity of librarians and researchers in the routine of supporting Members of the National Assembly in the performance of their legislative and oversight duties.Mr. Alhagie M Dumbuya, Director of Library and Research said the training was tailored around the duties and responsibilities of library assistants, classification of books, cataloging systems, and referencing from library resources.Deputy Clerk, Legislative Business and Programme, Mr. Daniel Cardos emphasised the importance of the training in the context that library and research services are highly sought after by both staff and Members of the Assembly. Mr. Cardos urged participants to apply the new skills on the job and share the knowledge with their colleagues.The lead trainer Ms. Matilda Johnson, former Director General of The Gambia National Library, and Mr. Alieu Sonko, Principal Librarian at the National Assembly guided the sessions through practical exercises at a pace measured to the need of fifty-eight representatives.The Library and Research Department offers impartial research services for Members on issues relating to National Assembly business and constituency work. It conducts briefings on topical issues and summaries of Bills being considered to adequately prepare Members both at Committee stages and Plenary sessions.   

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    Media Advisory

    President Barrow to Embark on Working Visit to DR CongoState House, Banjul, 27th February 2022The Office of the President informs the public that His Excellency, Adama Barrow, President of the Republic of The Gambia, will embark on a two-day working visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo.The visit will accord the President the opportunity to strengthen diplomatic and bilateral ties between The Gambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.President Barrow and the delegation will leave Banjul International Airport on Monday 28th February at 10:00 am.

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Gambia government holds "Major Press Conference"

The government of the Gambia on Thursday hosted a major press conference on the theme “Spotlighting the Banjul rehabilitation project” Chaired by the government spokesperson and adviser to the president on Diaspora affairs Ebrima G Sankareh the briefing was aimed at shedding light on public doubts about the Banjul rehabilitation project. The project came under fire following last month's powerful floods that hit the capital city and beyond. The Minister of information Lamin Queen Jammeh said the press conference was sanctioned by president  Adama Barrow to provide clarity on controversies that followed the unexpected floods.The questions from the press touched on how the contract was awarded to Gai construction company and whether the company had fulfilled its tax obligation as required under such contracts.  The minister of Works, Construction and Infrastructure Ebrima Sillah said there was another addendum on the contract that removed the tax exemption. He also explained that the government does provide a certain tax exemption on projects funded by the state or donor organisations. The Commissioner General of the Gambia Revenue Authority Yankuba Darboe said the contractor met all tax obligations and submitted audited accounts on time. Officials say powerful pumping machines have now been installed in the city. The machines they say would be able to efficiently empty flood water from the city.

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BRIKAMA BEAT GUNJUR 3 - 0 TO WIN WCR ZONAL SUPER CUP

A goal from Saikou Ceesay and a brace from Babucarr Sanneh helped Brikama register a resounding 3 - 0 win against defending champions Gunjur in the Super Cup of the second edition of the West Coast Region Zonal Championship.The game at Boxbar mini-stadium attracted a massive crowd which included Bakary Badjie the Minister for Youth and Sports and many other dignitaries and veterans from within and beyond West Coast Region. The two sides played highly entertaining football in front of vociferous supporters. Gunjur had a penalty saved by the Brikama goalkeeper within the opening 2 minutes and the home side rejoiced as they scored three unanswered goals to clinch the season’s opener at the expense of Gunjur, who won the first edition unbeaten.Brikama was decorated with a trophy, gold medals, and a cash prize of D15,000 while Gunjur pocketed D10, 000 with Silver medals.Eight zones (teams) will compete in this second edition of the WCR Zonal Champions. The teams are divided into two groups where they will play in a round-robin with the top two in each group advancing to the semi-finals.Group A                                                 Group BSanyang                                               GunjurBrufut                                                    Brikama Kombo Central II                              COSDALamin                                                    FABY  

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GFF ELECTION ON THE HORIZON – KAMASO VS KABBA - WHO IS WHO?

There has never been a heated build-up to a Gambia Football Federation election like the country is witnessing, and that credit must be given to Sadibou Kamaso who stands boldly out of the many football lovers to oppose a man once his God Father – Lamin Kaba Bajo.With the election finally on the horizon, the campaigning atmosphere has been tense, from the Greater Banjul Area to the Regions as Kaba and Kamaso continue to canvas for votes. But who is who?That has been the widely raised question, and whether they are both competent or not. At the end of it all, it must be either Kaba or Kamaso that will administer the country’s football for the next four years.The fact that many stakeholders are not openly taking sides makes it difficult for one to conclude who is the likeliest candidate to sweep the pool.THE WEAKNESSBoth Kaba and Kamaso have previously served in the GFF executive and one will expect them to have an idea as to how the game should be administered. The duo like any other football administrator must have a weakness and their campaigns are widely centered on what has gone wrong for either of them.With Kaba hitting Kamaso on the missing money under kamaso’s watch in Morocco, Kamaso has equally been lambasting Kaba on the missing GFF millions and for failing on his promises. Campaigning against someone who knows your weakness, could be a challenge for anyone, and that has been one major weakness for Kaba and as such he dodged all face-to-face encounters with Kamaso.MANIFESTING BRAVERY  Whether it was a sharp tongue, the desire for a position, or an interest in the development of the game, whatever the case, Sadibou has clearly manifested bravery in his campaigning by appearing in a live televised debate to talk about his policies and how he intends to ‘restore the confidence he has been campaigning on. Sadibou Kamaso has shown readiness to appear on any TV or Radio program irrespective of how tough he thinks it will be for him.Whether it was evasive or a strategy, the GFF incumbent failed to take on his challenger face-on at any given opportunity. At his campaign team’s behest, Lamin Kaba Bajo declined the invitation for a first-ever live televised football debate and all other live television programs where Sadibu had accepted to appear.Kamaso capitalised on the absence of the incumbent and sold his idea to the football world, perhaps in a more honest and open setting, which could have been a major turning point for his bid to control "Football house".In all honesty, it was a missed opportunity for Kaba to sell his new agenda, defend his record in office and dismiss all allegations of mismanagement against his administration. His absence did not help the lost confidence that Sadibu is saying he wants to restore, particularly among the general public.DECISION MAKERS  Now the country’s football future squarely lies in the hands of the decision makers – Stakeholders. Will go with Kaba’s team of ‘Continuity’ or Kamaso’s ‘Restore Confidence’ team? Whatever decision they make, must be in the interest of football development. Some represent clubs and some communities of close to 30, 000 people, and others, entire Regions.The stakeholders are in the nick of things, they are witnesses to football development and pitfalls in the country. The decision they make will have implications not only on the close circuit of stakeholders but on the entire nation. The outcome of the 27th of August election is what the country has to deal with for the next four years. That decision must not be one that will warrant one to seek forgiveness for taking the wrong decision.     

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