Minister DA JAWO Host Media Leaders Over Dinner
The Minister of Information and Communications Infrastructure, Demba A. Jawo, Wednesday December 20, 2017 hosted the Gambian media fraternity to an end of year ‘family’ dinner at the Gambia Tourism and Hospitality Institute (GTHI).
The event which was chaired by Aisha Davies Ann, the director of Information Services was graced by veteran journalists, heads of media institutions, the Gambia Press Union leadership and heads of various media associations.
Veteran Journalist Cherno Jallow, thanked MOICI for creating an enabling environment for cordial relations within the media fraternity and the Government, coming on the back of a very difficult 22 years between the media and the Government. He expressed sorrow that journalists like Deyda Hydara and Omar Barrow, victims of violence against the media weren’t a part of the ceremony.
Mr Jallow reminded the gathering that this year marks 126 years of newspaper production in the Gambia - the Balangar newspaper was published in 1891.
"Government Committed to Creating the Enabling Environment for journalists to perform their duties without fear of reprisals"
Demba A. Jawo, the Minister of Information and Communications Infrastructure, Saturday December 16 told Gambian journalists that the "Gambia Government through the Ministry of Information and Communications Infrastructure is committed to creating the enabling environment for both Gambian and international journalists in the country to perform their duties without fear of reprisals."
The Honourable Minister who could not attend the Commemoration of 13th Anniversary of the late journalist Deyda Hydara due to travel commitments was represented by his Special Advisor, Ndey Tapha Sosseh, who read the keynote address on his behalf.
Minister Jawo who commiserated with the families of Deyda Hydara and Chief Ebrima Manneh also expressed relief that with the new dispensation, the State will do everything possible to ensure that the families get justice. He announced that the Gambia Government will also respect the decisions of the ECOWAS Court to compensate the families of Deyda Hydara and Chief Ebrima Manneh.
See below the full keynote address by the Minister of Information & Communications Infrastructure
“Government Committed to Enhancing and Protecting Free Expression”
Hon. Demba Ali Jawo, Minister of Information and Communication Infrastructure, today confirmed that The Government of The Gambia is committed to
themselves and the rights to access information.
Minister Jawo also stated that the Government sees the Gambian media as a partner in ensuring that processes to ensure meaningful change for Gambians from all walks of life are transparent.
The Information Minister was speaking at a side event to on the margins of 61st session and 30th Anniversary of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights organized by Article 19, in partnership with the Gambia Press Union and other human rights institutions in Africa to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Declaration of principles on freedom of expression in Africa.
The Honourable Minister also acknowledged the efforts of the keynote speaker, Mme Pansy Tlakula, Outgoing Chair of the ACHPR & Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information, African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights.
He spoke at length about reform initiatives the Government is embarking on to ensure that the rights to freedom of expression and access to information are respected.
See below for full statement of the Minister of Information and Communications Infrastructure.
"Promoting Access to Information in The Gambia"
MOICI, Article 19 set the ball rolling for an eventual ATI Bill
The Ministry of Information and Communications Infrastructure (MOICI) and Article 19 December 12 organized a high level stakeholders meeting on Promoting Access to Information in The Gambia.
The main objective of the Forum was to build synergies on discourse around the status of access to information in the country and inform the drafting of the Freedom of Information Bill in line with international standards and best practices.
Representing the Minister of Justice Abubacarr Tambadou and also speaking on behalf of the Minister of Information and Communications infrastructure, the Solicitor General Cherno Marenah stated that “after 22 years of a repressive regime, where the public was deliberately deprived of its right to know, it is an enormous task to change mind-sets. The political goodwill to put in place an Access To Information Law is evident, we intend to go beyond drafting the law. For ATI to become not just another text, discussions today should also focus on the capacity enhancement and understanding of state and non-state actors of their role in ensuring that ATI is a reality for all Gambians.”
Lamin Camara, the outgoing permanent secretary MOICI Participants who chaired the opening ceremony highlighted measures taken by the Government of The Gambia over the past year to ensure transparency and to improve on a two way communication with the Gambian public. The eventual drafting, submission and adoption of an ATI bill is in line with concretizing and ensuring that transparent governance becomes a norm in The Gambia.
Human Rights Protection Must Not Only Be About Enacting Laws On Paper’
The President of the Republic of The Gambia and Head of State, His Excellency Adama Barrow, Wednesday, October 1, graced the opening of the 61st session of the African Commission on Human People’s Rights (ACHPR) at the Kairaba Beach Hotel.
Aja Fatoumata Jallow-Tambajang, the vice president; Mariam Jack Denton, the speaker of the National Assembly, Hassan Jallow, the Chief Justice also graced the occasion.
The Honorable Minister of Information and Communications Infrastructure, Demba A Jawo was part of a strong Government delegation, comprising the Minister of Justice, Abubacarr Tambedou; the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Gambians Abroad, Ousainou Darboe; the Minister of Fisheries, Water Resources and National Assembly Matters, James Gomez; the Minister of Environment, security chiefs, members of the diplomatic corps and senior government officials.
Pansy Faith Tlakula, the outgoing chairperson of the ACHPR stated that they never met the former president, Yayha Jammeh who never attended the ACHPR events or received the rapporteurs. Adding that in the twelve years since she was elected rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information, never had such a large Gambian delegation, representing the three arms of Government attend the Commission session.