23 May 2010



Real De Banjul Football Club feeder team beat Gifts football academy 2-0 in a test match held at Serre Kunda West mini stadium on Saturday.
Both teams made a brilliant start to the game with ball possession split almost in half but Gifts academy had more goal scoring chances which they failed to put beyond the goal line.
Samsideen Jarju was passed the ball at the right hand corner of the penalty box in the 27th minute following an accurate pass from the flanks but his blast went across the face of goal.
The impasse was broken in the 65th minute when Pastor Jammeh was set up in the penalty box in substantial space to exploit and he made a low, stinging shot that whizzed past the left hand side of the goal keeper into the net.
The goal sent the Gifts academy coach Ebrima Mendy barking instructions from the technical bench to his players who started pouring forward as they looked to create a better score line. The forward surge by Gifts proved calamitous as they left themselves open at the back which Samsideen Jarju took advantage of in the 75th minute to drive a powerful shot into the net which left the goal keeper stranded. The advent of the second goal seemed to have all but killed the game as Gifts players merely kept running after their opponents whose dominance became more glaring and the game ended 2-0.
Real De Banjul instructor Dawda Soto Ceesay said that his players did well given the absence of some key members of his team due to problems beyond their control while adding that it was a successful revenge mission.
“We lost to them 1-0 in the final of Matarr Sarr Memorial tournament recently. So we have made a revenge on them for that and we are very happy” he said.
Dawda also added that the encounter was also a good preparation for them ahead of the West Africa U-17 Club championship to be held in the country in the month of July which will see them take on teams from Senegal, Mali, Mauritania and others in the sub region.
“Last time, we took part in the competition and won the final and we want to win it again. We have a very good team which I believe can play well against any team and I do have confidence in them” he declared.
He finally thanked the Real De Banjul Football Club administration for their support, both moral and financial, which has enabled him to nurture the young talents on his team for the future.


Sohna's Football Club were crowned champions of Alhagie Nyassi Nooran tournament held at Serre Kunda West mini-stadium in a well attended final match on Friday 21st May 2010.
Safira FC could have grabbed an early goal cushion in the 3rd minute when Tamsir Jallow was passed the ball from the flanks at short distance but he slipped on the grass just before he fired the shot. Sulayman Corr latched onto a pass through the midfield and dribbled past the defender as well as the guard-man but his powerful shot hit the side netting.
Sohna's were awarded a free kick about two yards outside the box in the 21st minute of the game which Sanna Sonko took but the goal keeper made a superb save and Mam Jange was tee-ed up in the 25th minute within striking distance of the goal but the referee declared that he was off-side.
Mam Jange got on the end of a pass in the 37th minute from their key striker, Modou Gai, who proved quite influential in the game but his shot went over the bar. The dead lock was soon breached in the 40th minute when Carlos Mendy completed a shrewd move in Safira's rear-guard and ringed the goal keeper to put the goal in the net, causing wild celebrations among their fans in the stands.
The resumption of action in the second segment of the game saw Safira pile pressure on their opponents as they pushed for parity on the score board and Sohna's knew they were in for a match.
Sulay Coker unleashed a shot at close range in the 48th minute but the goal keeper was equal to it and Tamsir Jammeh made a lovely cross in the 76th minute for which the doctor only prescribed a cool tap into the net but his team mates failed to connect, leading to an awkward clearance.
The most glorious goal scoring opportunity of the game was manufactured in the 45th minute when Kebba Wally of Safira FC was set up for a header at point blank range only to put it into the hands of the goal keeper which prompted uproar from the crowd.
The game concluded 1-0 in favor of Sohna's Football Club who were given a trophy with a cash prize of D3000 whilst runners-up Safira received a sum D1500 as consolation.

13 May 2010



The increase in human rights violation in Africa, the systematic denial of democratic change and the refusal to recognize the fundamental rights of the human being as well as the unacceptable reversal of constitutional order with no regard for the right of the population have been blamed on bad governance in the continent. Chairperson of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, Mrs. Reine Alapini Gansou, gave this remark at the opening of the 47th Ordinary Session of the Commission in Banjul.
According to her, Africa has considerable assets which can contribute to its economic development and without a doubt make up for lost time in its development. However, several human rights violations are perpetuated with impunity by states who are parties to the African Commission.
She said that the Commission has deployed great efforts in the combat against torture, against the death penalty, the right of human right defender associations, the right of journalists and has also convinced the stakeholders to accept the right to be different and in particular to that of non-discrimination.
“There is evident correlation,” she noted, “between democracy, good governance and human rights, a necessary link which should give life to human rights in normative contexts, which take into account the general interest through a regular checking of the high performing, responsible and participative republican institution, founded on a basis which guarantees multiparty democracy, the rule of law, and a system which guarantees the effective promotion and protection of human rights, of individual and collective liberties.”
According to her, there cannot be good governance where arbitrary arrests, torture in custody, problems of gender based discrimination or the population’s HIV status are the order of the day; or “where the most basic of fundamental freedoms are muzzled and are replaced by liberticidal or restrictive rights; where journalists disappear for having accomplished their mission; where women are excluded from the decision making or peace process.”
She said only respect for the standards and principles of democratisation, respect for human rights and presence of constructive sociopolitical dialogue between various actors can bring about good governance.
Commissioner Reine then expressed her joy over the partnership established between the commission and state parties, which should be strengthened at all cost, keeping in mind that each stakeholder must be obligated to respect scrupulously the African Charter on Human and People’s Right.
In her speech, Commissioner for Political Affairs in African Union, Julia Dolly Joiner disclosed that the continent has, since the dawn of the 21st century, stood witness to a simple and irreversible reality whereby Africans are establishing, expressing and asserting their human rights more than it has been the case in the past. She added that this, by all accounts, is attributable to the expressed commitment of heads of states and governments, the positive efforts of institutions and direct activism of African civil society.
“No matter our differences or contestations of content might be, I am certain that there is amongst us a recognition that we are on a positive and sustainable path to the future. Even whilst we grapple with continuing human rights challenges and the intricacies of reports presented to this august body, we need to take a step back and look at the journey traveled and the progress registered,” she stated.
She said that it is imperative that the continent builds on that which it has succeeded in putting in place, the most significant of which are the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights.
She also noted that there are many suggestions that the continent moves to a higher level of success in its human rights promotion and protection efforts.
For her part, Miss Hannah Foster, the executive director of the ACDHR who spoke on behalf of the NGOS Forum, noted that the forum acknowledged that although challenges in the human rights and democracy situation persist leading to violence, insecurity and conflict, some real and positive developments have been registered in a good number of African countries.
She said that the forum has drawn attention to the suppression of the freedom of expression, opinion, assembly and the press. In this regard, the forum requests the AC to pay particular attention to the situation in Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, The Democratic Republic of Congo DRC, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Eritrea, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Swaziland, Tunisia and Zimbabwe. “We thereby request the AC to express solidarity with all journalists living under extreme persecution and to urge states to abolish repressive laws and to ensure a conducive environment for the protection of journalist in Africa.”
The forum wishes to express its satisfaction so far in working with the mechanisms of the African Commission and urge the AU to provide sufficient resources for the maintenance of all its mechanism to ensure greater impact.
While declaring the 47th Ordinary Session of African commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights open, the Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Edward Gomez called on human rights activists to exercise objectivity in pursuit of respect for and observance of human rights.
Responding to human rights concerns about freedom of expression in The Gambia, Mr. Gomez retorted that journalists sometimes publish sensational articles so as to boost paper sales without observing the basic principles of the profession by verifying the content. Whilst noting that it will be difficult to recognize the rights of those who infringe the rights of others, Mr. Gomez extended an invitation to anyone who nurtures doubts about his assertions to visit him at his office for a frank and open discussion. He disclosed that the government of The Gambia respects human rights and upholds it.
He closed by characterising the increasing occurrence of rape on the continent as a terrible practice that warrants ‘castration’ for the perpetrators, concluding that in The Gambia the penalty for rape is life imprisonment.


Students of the Banjul American Embassy School in Fajara, Kanifing Municipality, recently visited the site of Solar Project ‘Tiloo’ a company making solar equipment in Kanifing South, off Kaiaraba Avenue, as the company celebrated a Solar Day on Saturday.
Speaking on the purpose of their visit to the project site, Ms. Blair, a teacher at the Banjul American Embassy School said that the visit was supposed to familiarize the students with various inventions that are being undertaken in The Gambia. She said her class was studying inventions, mostly of Haitian origin and they have thought it expedient to examine the Gambian experience in this respect.
“We were having a class in invention and these were mainly inventions in Haiti and elsewhere, which is why I decided to bring them to the solar project site for them to see for themselves inventions from our own backyard in The Gambia.
“Our visit to the Solar Project Tiloo-Gambia is very important because the most important problem in The Gambia here right now is deforestation as the forest cover is being depleted by local communities for fuel and cooking,” she said.
One of the students hailed the visit as important as it avails them the opportunity to see for themselves the alternative use of energy. “The visit is important because they use solar energy often and they don’t need to use electricity. It is also important for us too because we get to learn a lot about new inventions.”
Another student stated that curiosity had made them want to see how to use solar energy to cook instead of using firewood. “We are also here to see how we don’t have to waste things by using solar power and we also got to learn that they use computer fans in the solar oven to get the waste air out.”
For his part, Muhammed Jarra, the manager of Solar Project Tiloo said that the visiting students have learnt a lot about how solar works, its different parts of and how it is used for baking or cooking.
Mr. Jarra added that they are trying to work with schools and students to help them better understand how solar works and how it can preserve the beautiful environment by being used as an alternative source of energy instead of cutting down the forest, which can take a toll on both the environment and the society at large.
At the event marking the Solar Day on Saturday, Mr. Muhammed Jarra highlighted the advantages of using solar energy as it is a cheap and convenient way of cooking. “We are trying to raise awareness for environmental protection as the forests in The Gambia are endangered and the soil dries because of deforestation. That is why it is important to use sustainable energy,” he said.
He said that with a solar cooker or a tunnel dryer, women do not need much time to cook anymore and that they have the possibility to make their own business by selling cooked and baked food which offers more financial independence. “By using a solar cooker, people prevent smoke entering their lungs, plus they avoid inflammation of the eyes. In other words, the food cooked and baked by the solar cooker is much healthier as it preserves the vitamins. Besides, as using the power of sun is free, more people boil the drinking water, which frees it of dangerous germs.”
One Gambian carpenter is currently employed by the project. He manufactures the solar cookers and the tunnel dryers. They make sure that most of the materials they use for the cookers and dryers are mainly local so as to support local businesses.
Mr. Jarra said that by using solar cookers, deforestation and C02-emission can be reduced. Many families in The Gambia do not have a fridge: as a result fruits and vegetables can be stored only for a short time and with the tunnel dryer you have the possibility to preserve the food up to six months. “As at now there are currently two Gambian bakers employed, and they bake daily like cakes, muffins, cookies, sweet bread, croissants, fish and meat pie and much more. A small but very nice restaurant is part of the bakery and is visited by Gambian cooks also where the local people and the tourists meet for coffee and cake. With this, we want to promote the idea of a community with ecological awareness,” he added.
He said that there is awareness training and the aim is to sell the advantages of solar energy to the Gambians. They want to improve the awareness of health and hygiene with creative and interactive presentations.
He argued that the local traditions and customs are very important to the natives. Therefore it is ideal to start with the children and tell them about the use solar energy. Mr. Jarra noted that with school programme they sponsor schools with two cookers and show the students and teachers how to use them. The profits realized from such ventures are again used to support other schools.
The project started sponsoring schools in 2009 starting with three schools namely St. Peters in Lamin, St. George’s in Basse and Charles Jaw in Bundung. Five students from each school are given five days of training and at the end receive certificates.
St. Peters was awarded a certificate and a cash box so as to continue using the solar cooker as it is reliable, cheap and convenient.The manager finally advised the people to keep the nature safe and fight against global warming.