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In The Gambia, Cabo Verde and Kenya, economic freedom gains defy the pandemic

In The Gambia, Cabo Verde and Kenya, economic freedom gains defy the pandemic

THREE African countries recorded some of their biggest improvements in freeing up their economies for the citizenry just as COVID-19 hit global economies hard. The Gambia, the smallest country on the continent (more than twice as small as Lesotho and smaller than Djibouti or Eswatini) moved up 24 places - the most places in a global ranking of economic freedom - to settle at position 58, reflecting higher levels of personal choices, access to finance and markets enjoyed by citizens. Cabo Verde, the island nation in the Atlantic Ocean, moved 10 places to 30th while East Africa’s largest economy, Kenya…
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Floods affect thousands in Gambia after heaviest rainfall in decades

Floods affect thousands in Gambia after heaviest rainfall in decades

PAP SAINE THE Gambia recorded its heaviest rainfall in more than 30 years last weekend, causing widespread flooding and at least two deaths, the government said, blaming climate change for the extreme weather. Torrential rain started on Saturday morning and continued for more than 20 hours in parts of the West African country, said the Department of Water Resources. The highest rainfall measured over that period was 276 mm (10.87 inches) at Banjul International Airport, compared with a previous record of 175.4 mm in July 1998, it said. "It is the worst flooding I have ever seen in the Gambia,"…
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The returnee shining light on remote villages in The Gambia

The returnee shining light on remote villages in The Gambia

MOMODOU L JAITEH, BIRD STORY AGENCY LOCATED in the northern region of The Gambia, Nyamanarr village is neglected. Characterised by a lack of electricity, a poor road network and low education levels, the area was bypassed by successive development programmes. However, on February 25th, 2022, this tiny village got a new lease of life. Gambian President Adama Barrow was on hand as a 120-kilowatt peak power solar mini-grid was commissioned in the remote village near the country's border with Senegal. "The Gambia has significant solar energy resources which can be deployed via solar PV plants and other renewable energy solutions,"…
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Over 6,000 displaced in Gambia after Senegal separatist fighting flare-up

Over 6,000 displaced in Gambia after Senegal separatist fighting flare-up

MORE than 6,000 people have fled their homes in Gambia and Senegal following clashes between Senegalese soldiers and separatists near the Gambian border earlier this month, Gambia's government said Tuesday. The Senegalese military launched an operation on March 13 against rebels fighting for independence in the West African country's southern Casamance region, which borders Gambia. Fighting pushed 691 people in Casamance to cross over and seek refuge in Gambia, a tiny nation of around 2 million inhabitants almost entirely surrounded by Senegal, said its National Disaster Management Agency in an assessment of the aftermath. A further 5,626 people were displaced…
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Why The Gambia should fast-track gender quotas for women

Why The Gambia should fast-track gender quotas for women

WOMEN have historically been poorly represented in positions of power and decision-making in The Gambia. Out of 58 National Assembly members, only six are women lawmakers and only three of these are elected. Women make up more than half of the Gambian population, yet they account for only 10% of parliamentarians, including the speaker. Author SATANG NABANEH, Director of Programs, University of Dayton This poor representation is just as evident in the political parties. None of the 18 registered political parties is led by a woman. A few have women serving as deputy party leaders. But for the most part,…
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Mapping the contours of Jihadist groups in the Sahel

Mapping the contours of Jihadist groups in the Sahel

THE Sahel region, an area covering 3 million sq km, has been a hotbed of Islamic Jihadi groups in recent years. FOLAHANMI AINA, Doctoral Candidate in Leadership Studies, King's College London Today, the region has no fewer than seven insurgent groups scattered in six countries. The area stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea and Indian Ocean and encompasses a dozen countries. These include Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, The Gambia, Guinea, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal. Jihadi groups have taken advantage of a number of underlying conditions, which fuel local grievances across the Sahel. These include endemic…
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How The Gambia beat trachoma, an infection that causes blindness

How The Gambia beat trachoma, an infection that causes blindness

THE government of The Gambia recently announced that the country had eliminated trachoma, a highly contagious eye disease, after years of hard work by health workers, nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) and communities. MUSA MUTALI, Lecturer of Optometry, University of Benin In The Gambia, the disease accounted for 17% of the reported blindness in a national survey in 1986. The prevalence of trachoma has dropped from 0.1% to 0.02% in the last 10 years. Current estimates show a prevalence of less than 0.2% in adults aged over 15 years. This is about one case per 1,000 people. Trachoma has been described as…
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Three Gambian ministers test positive for COVID-19

Three Gambian ministers test positive for COVID-19

THREE cabinet ministers in Gambia have tested positive for COVID-19, the presidency said, in a further sign the virus is ripping though the corridors of power after the nation's vice president tested positive last week. President Adama Barrow is in self-isolation for the next two weeks, the presidency said last week after Vice President Isatou Touray tested positive. Now, finance minister Mambureh Njie, energy minister Fafa Sanyang and agriculture minister Amie Fabureh have also been infected by the virus, the presidency said in a statement late on Sunday. The statement gave no detail on the state of the ministers' health.…
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Gambia’s first two cases of British variant

Gambia’s first two cases of British variant

THE Gambia has recorded its first two cases of the highly infectious coronavirus variant first found in Britain, its health minister has said, in what appears to be the first confirmation of the variant's presence in Africa. Speaking before parliament, Health Minister Ahmadou Lamin Samateh did not give any further details about the cases, which could hamper efforts to contain a recent surge in infections. In a weekly report on Tuesday, the World Health Organization listed 50 countries where the variant had been detected around the world - none of them in Africa. Gambia, a former British colony, has so…
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Gambia VP tests positive for coronavirus, president self-isolating

Gambia VP tests positive for coronavirus, president self-isolating

Gambia's Vice President Isatou Touray has tested positive for COVID-19, leading President Adama Barrow to enter self-isolation for the next two weeks, the presidency said on Wednesday. The presidency's statement did not provide any further details about Touray's condition. Touray, who is 65, was named vice president last year. The Gambia, mainland Africa's smallest country, has recorded 326 cases of COVID-19, including nine deaths, the lowest totals in West Africa. - Thomson Reuters Foundation
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