M.B. Jones: A fearless newspaper is an indispensable tool for progress

11 Apr

Historical records of Mr Jones writing shows he was radical, and an activist journalist who wrote with authority.

 

English: Picture of Gambian women in the Serra...

Jones said the newspaper can be an indispensable tool for [economic] progress. Gambian women in the Serekunda market (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 By Modou S. Joof

“A fearless, outspoken, unbiased newspaper is not only a desideratum to a backward and underdeveloped nation, but an indispensable tool for progress,” Gambian journalist Melville Benoni Jones wrote in an editorial in the Outlook on May 3, 1960.
Historical chronicles about Mr Jones writing and journalism has shown him to be radical and an activist journalist who wrote with authority.
In a recent account, a Gambian historian described him as having combined “crusading journalism with militant politics and trade unionism to challenge British colonial rule.”
But what did the man popularly known as “M.B. Jones”, whose work pre and post colonialism included the fight for a free and independent press, meant by (a fearless, outspoken, unbiased newspaper… indispensable tool for progress)?

 

Gambian historian and researcher Mr Hassoum Ceesay explains:

Continue reading

The Gambia: More woes for embattled former justice minister

8 Apr
Cropped version of :Image:Gambia President Yah...

Jobarteh faces charges of economic crime and giving false information to Gambia President Yahya Jammeh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Gambia has brought another charge of economic crime and giving false information to a public officer against one of its former Minister of Justice, Lamin Jobarteh on Monday.

Jobarteh, also a former Attorney General, pleaded not guilty on April 7 when he appeared at the High Court in Banjul, the capital.

“Jobarteh recklessly caused monetary loss to The Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA), a public body, by constituting a taskforce which re-assessed and reviewed downward the tax liability of several tax defaulters as found by the Tax Commission,” State prosecutors alleged.

“Being the attorney general and minister of justice, he falsely informed the Office of the President [Yahya Jammeh] that over D200 million had been recovered from the tax defaulters and deposited into the GRA account at GTBank,” they claim.

Also, Prosecutors accused Mr Jobarteh of informing GRA’s commissioner general that there was a cabinet approval to establish a taskforce to re-assess the tax liability of defaulters as shown in the Tax Commission’s report, knowing such information to be false.

The embattled Mr Jobarteh is currently serving a two-year jail term after he, Dr Njogu Bah, a former Secretary General and Presidential Affairs Minister and Pa Harry Jammeh, a former Solicitor General and Legal Secretary were convicted of abuse of office and other related offences in 2013. Continue reading

Cyber security should be priority for governments – experts

1 Apr Banner: Innovative Africa Digital (IAD) summit
Banner: Innovative Africa Digital (IAD) summit

Banner: Innovative Africa Digital (IAD) summit

By Lamin Jahateh

Efforts to create secure and private communications on the internet has to be top priority on every agenda of governments’ national policy-making, experts in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and regulators have said.

During a workshop on cyber security as part of the 12th Innovation Africa Digital (IAD) summit in Banjul, the stakeholders said is important for governments to look into their policy-making processes to ensure cyber security for their citizens, for enterprises and for government entities to be given priority, as most of their activities now are digitized.

The nature of governments’ policy making needs to be changed from being reactive to cyber security issues to being proactive and preventive. Continue reading

Ebola Outbreak: MSF is facing an ‘unprecedented epidemic’

31 Mar

MSF now has around 60 international staff on the ground in Guinea to respond to the Ebola epidemic. (Photo:  Kjell Gunnar Beraas/MSF)

MSF says it will have around 60 international staff on the ground in Guinea to respond to the Ebola epidemic by week-end. (Photo: Kjell Gunnar Beraas/MSF)

By Modou S. Joof

The medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has announced on Monday  it is  facing an unprecedented epidemic in terms of the distribution of [Ebola] cases now scattered in several locations in Guinea.

MSF announcement followed eight confirmed cases of Ebola reported in the capital Conakry.  78 people have been confirmed death already as a result of the disease.

“We are facing an epidemic of a magnitude never before seen in terms of the distribution of cases in the country: Gueckedou, Macenta Kissidougou, Nzerekore, and now Conakry,” says Mariano Lugli, coordinator of MSF’s project in Conakry. Continue reading

The Gambia: Increased internet bandwidth does not translate to improved services

25 Mar
Internet Access Here Sign

The Gambia government has tasked the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) and MOICI to make sure consumers benefit from the increased bandwidth in the country, through price reduction and improvement in service delivery. Internet Access Here Sign (Photo credit: Steve Rhode)

By Lamin Jahateh

Internet bandwidth in The Gambia has increased significantly as all the internet service providers (ISPs) have multiplied their bandwidth capacity, Nancy Nyang, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Information and Communications Infrastructure has said.

The country’s bandwidth is said to have increased by fourfold since the installation of the African Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine cable, some two years ago.

Speaking at the beginning of the 12th Innovation Africa Digital (IAD) summit on Tuesday in Banjul, PS Nyang pointed out that the government is, however, aware that the increased telecommunications infrastructure has not translated to price reduction and improve quality of ICT services for consumers. Continue reading

The Gambia: Improved ICT guidelines seek to ensure service excellence

25 Mar
Banjul by SPOT Satellite

Banjul by SPOT Satellite (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Lamin Jahateh

The Gambia government has developed a policy dubbed ‘Quality of Service guidelines’ that seek to ensure service excellence in the country’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry.

Bala Garba Jahumpa, the minister overseeing the Ministry of Information and Communications Infrastructure (MOICI), explained that this is part of efforts by the government to promulgate policies and programmes that will ensure the growth and development of the ICT industry at the same time not compromising with quality service provision of the operators.

Mr Jahumpa was speaking at the commencement of a three-day annual Innovation Africa Digital (IAD) summit on Tuesday in Banjul. The event is organized by Entensia Ltd, a UK-based firm that supports sustainable growth of ICT across Africa, and hosted by The Gambia government.

It is being attended by about 300 top-notch in the global ICT industry. Continue reading

Telecom leaders in Africa to converge in Gambia for Africa Digital summit

20 Mar

By Lamin Jahateh

Up to 300 top managers in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry in Africa as well as senior representatives from international technology companies like Facebook will converge in The Gambia from 25th to 27th March

for the 12th Innovative Africa Digital (IAD) summit.

The flagship event of Extensia Ltd will be hosted in the country by The Gambia government through the Ministry of Information and Communications Infrastructure (MOICI).  Extensia Ltd is an international firm that supports sustainable growth of ICT across Africa. Continue reading

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