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 A warning: Towards a failed state
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Posted - 11 Jan 2021 :  19:47:16  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
We must wake up from our slumber
By Sidi Sanneh

Gambians expect more from their political leaders, especially now, when the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc in our communities, causing deaths to our people and destroying our economies. The life- and livelihood-threatening COVID-19 must be the Number One priority of serious governments around the world.

Our agriculture and tourism sectors, two of our most important sectors based of their percentage contribution to the country’s GDP, have both been devastated, but for different reasons - the latter, primarily by exogenous reasons, first by the collapse of Thomas Cook before Covid-19 delivered the final blow. The former died due to neglect, accelerated by bad policies or vise versa.

With the intensity of the presidential campaign season manifesting itself so early in the game and with such vitriolic vengeance, the economic meltdown will only accelerate at the expense of the poor and the politically weak and vulnerable Gambians.

There are solutions to some of these problems but first our leaders must demonstrate their desire to transform themselves from the prolific problem manufacturers they’ve become to determined problem solvers. But first, they must stop the embarrassingly childish name calling and finger pointing before they can debate the substantive and urgent issues facing the country.

Left unattended, the agriculture and tourism sectors will collapse under the weight of covid-19, inappropriate policy initiatives and human neglect. We must move in unison as a country to save a country that is in distress. Otherwise, more of our young people with be thrown into the streets as our tourist hotels close their doors, and our countryside empties more of its population into our urban areas because the 70% of our rural population who are engaged in farming can no longer be sustained by the sector.

This note is neither a diagnostic policy note nor a prescriptive approach to what is wrong with our agriculture and tourism sectors. It is more of a warning, that we are sliding dangerously toward a failed state status, if we insist on keeping our blinders on while on our merry way downslope.

Sidi Sanneh


A clear conscience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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