BIO: DEMBA ALI JAWO – MINISTER OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION INFRASTRUCTURE
Until his appointment as Minister of Information and Communication Infrastructure in February 2017, Mr. DEMBA ALI JAWO worked as editor at the African Press Agency (APANews) in Dakar, Senegal since 2006.
Mr. Jawo was born in the village of Choya in Niamina West district in the Central River Region in the early 1950s. After he left school, he joined the Gambia Utilities Corporation (GUC) as a stores clerk. He later pursued a course on purchasing and management with the Crown Agents in the United Kingdom.
While still working with the GUC, Mr. Jawo developed a passion for journalism and started contributing articles to various local and international publications. However, he began his full time journalism career in the late 1970s at The Nation newspaper in Banjul under the tutelage of one of the doyens of Gambian journalism, William Dixon-Colley. He rose through the ranks up to the position of News Editor of the Daily Observer and Editor-in-Chief of The Independent newspaper in Banjul.
In addition to his on-the-job training, Mr. Jawo also underwent journalism training in various countries, including Germany, Israel and Ghana. He obtained a Diploma in Journalism at the International Institute of Journalism in Berlin, Germany.
In 1998, Mr. Jawo took over as President of the Gambia Press Union from the late Deyda Hydara. He steered the affairs of the GPU, both as President and Administrator of the GPU Secretariat. He stepped down in 2005 at the end of his second term and subsequently became Course Director of the UNESCO-sponsored Media Training Centre which was being run by the National Commission for UNESCO (NATCOM) in Kanifing. He had also briefly worked as stringer for the BBC African Service, Banjul correspondent for Associated Press and correspondent for Economist Intelligence Unit.
As part of his social hobbies, Mr. Jawo had also been involved in human rights work, being a founder member of Amnesty International (Gambia) Group.
Like many journalists in this country, however, Mr. Jawo also had several brushes with the notorious National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and on one occasion, while as News Editor of the Daily Observer, he was arrested and spent two nights at the NIA head office in Banjul after the Daily Observer published a news item on the collapse of a part of the State House perimeter wall, exposing some armoured vehicles parked inside.
«Study on Gambian journalists in exile – Doha Centre 2013
«Child Protection in Peace Support Operations Course (AU project- 2015) – Editorial Team
Co-author – A Living Mirror – The Life of Deyda Hydara
Author - Focus: Challenges of The Gambia’s Transition to Democracy