Saturday, 26 April 2008

The rise of multitude private banks in the Gambia

Why So many Commercial Banks in Gambia

Without matching gains, a proliferation of commercial banks invading a weakening domestic economy is nothing to silence about. Velocity of cash flow generated by domestic business does not need the number in commercial banking service providers. There is genuine reason to speculate that the banks are engaged in gainful activities that may not be fuelled by domestic business.

Gambians opposition politicians have an issue to take up in the advent of economic threats imposed by capital flight and other commerce inducement that benefit only the banks and their special clientele. Banks are regarded as financial intermediaries. The vulnerability of financial markets to market failures makes financial markets politically sensitive. Banks are supposed to play significant role in the development process. Banks are key partners to every government in the handling and control of national wealth. The Gambia is a small country with little or no natural resources. Without any credible industries that can create us wealth to the magnitude of us having several banks operating within a narrow square miles of each other, it leaves curious observers wondering why we have so many commercial bank?

Experiments with the defunct Gambia Commercial and Development Bank GCDB produced enough results to confirm how less ready the country’s traditional business relates to Commerce and Industrial institutions. Most of the money that was borrowed for commercial and industrial purpose as neatly documented business plans actually ended up used for domestic purposes. Not much has changed in Gambia since the 80s, 90s as a whole. Even the new millennium provides no better hope.

Every concern Gambian monitoring the global financial climate should be worried about the escalating pace of foreign banks in the Gambia. Private Banks being partners to a country’s central bank in the control of fiscal cash and foreign exchange, it is highly likely for our country to mortgage itself and her citizenry through increase level of debt and borrowings.

The call is for opposition politicians to investigate and scrutinize the underlining reasons recent upsurge of banks in the Gambia with so weak an economy. There is no so much commercial and development activity to engage the full service range all these new banks. Any investigation should critically look at the role of banks in the Gambia and the cost and benefits of having so many of them in our country. It should also look at the main reason why foreign banks are springing up in our country. What is their bait of attraction? Total savings or deposit rate of domestic customers should also be looked at. It is possible that these banks have overseas customers whose may not have any good to the local economy. Where is the money coming from?

Another critical area worth looking is the extent to which the Gambian civil servants and other informal sector employees are making use of loan to undertake for extra financial engagements. In a recent visit to the Gambia, I have heard of many senior civil servants taking huge loans in building house and buying cars and so on. How sustainable is that? Further questions come to mind. What will be the repercussion for our country in cases of financial crisis with a high level of borrowing and low wage payment to this civil servant? Who are using these banks on a regular basis? Is there any case of money laundering and financial misappropriation taking place in collusion with banks? What are Gambia’s banking watch dogs or regulators doing to monitor the activities of these banks?

Banks are good when the economy is performing well and the citizens are engaged in productive ventures for increasing gains. With many banks, the need of free market forces will be more competitive and business malpractice may result. How many banks do we have today? What mechanisms are in place to counter any financial crisis? A bank in the U.K has experienced liquidity problem recently, the Northern Rock Building Society. The main cause of the bank’s problem was lending heavily to low income earners and the shortage of access to inter-bank lending.

The U.K has huge economy with high level per capita income. The government had to nationalize the bank to save it from insolvency. This caused considerable loss to some people with life savings and share holdings. If UK banks can run into trouble which affects thousands of their citizens what will stop our country experiencing similar problem?

Gambia’s opposition parties need to take a look at what is happening in our country’s banking sector. Your findings should be published. We shouldn’t allow the government to mortgage our country. Every bubble busts. That is true even for the bigger economies as they are seen experiencing a recession, let alone for us. If the government is in cahoots with the new foreign banks, you the potential rulers of our country should be prepared to stop our nation falling into financial crisis which occurred in South East Asia.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008


The Gambia as a country has change completely since the days of innocent political banter. The junta headed by Yahya Jammeh cornered Gambian citizens into a condition of political muteness. The creation of the NIA has made all discussions about the APRC and its party Leader AJJ very intelligent agent involved.
The Gambia's agents aren't just limited to the back streets of the Gambia they are also online, in the cyber space. The mind game. Decent and intelligent Gambians interested in engaging in online debates are targeted by this unscrupulous agents. Each debater is targeted and the game is to identify who the individual person is. The next step is to use commentaries that will anger the debater writing about the APRC and Yahya to explain who he is. from there on, the online agents will try to divert attention from important discussions to trivial personal attacks. This is all part of the game.
When issues are made personalise, rational discussions lost it grounds. And the online cyber agent is achieving one part of his role that is divert attention, the second step is to push the debater to say who is.
As the intelligent agents will tell you, " each target is hated". To neutralise a target, that is the online writer critical of Yahya's government, his where about and identity becomes key. If the writer loose his guards and expose himself, then the online agent achieve his goal, that is a scoop.
He will then mail the details to his office and that innocent soul is now on the entry/exit Gambia watch.
This mind game has kill the much coveted Gambian democracy. The many online writers are aware of the this inherent dangers. Each writer would rather use ghost names and not be known than use their real identity and be found out. What is the reason for tracing Gambians identity online?

There are many. The few apparent ones are: to disable all potential critics and thus limit the damage to Yahya's coveted image.
To create a climate of fear and control. The old method of creating lots of cowards is powerful. Many dictator resort to that techniques. In many parts of Africa and Middle East this method is highly in use. An afraid individual is less threatening. Gambians unfortunately have join this club.
Another reason is to continue mystifying the power of the country's leader. The intelligent agents make the leader invincible. That invincibility provide an air of authority and thus leading to mythism.He assume higher powers. On seeing the leader, the fear factor cripes into our sub-conscious mind.
This stops leading journalist, activist, opposition members and the rest of the country writing and talking about the leaders mismanagement and incompetence. Silence becomes the only best solution to avoid being humiliated and disgraced or even being killed.

The mind game. Is yahya's agents wining the battle? No, not very much. Many brave Gambians have seen the trick and they have refused to be silenced. Silence mean complacency. It mean inability and cowardliness. And even prophets of God use to pray against cowardliness. It makes people useless and lazy.

A band of mixture of young and veteran writers from the Gambian community rose up the challenge pose by the tyrant yahya and his evil agents. The phenomum of the Gambia online news paper was born. The many brave editors and commentator took the touch and they are leading the way. Gambians have regain their voice from shores afar. Notable papers are the Gambia echo, Thegambianjournal, the allgambian,the senegambianews,gainako, the freedomnewspaper etc. This folks have sacrifice their time,energy and income to show the agents of yahya that NO ONE CAN STOP THE ONLINE NEWS FLOW.
Day in day out, good article emanate from the likes for Mathew Jallow and other brilliant writers reminding Gambians about the immense issues at stake. This give us a warm feeling and hope.

The people are the winner of the online mind game. Let the agents join us and bring down yahya's tyranny. The Gambia even if we are poor, but at least we can have our peace of mind. that is a God gift no one should take away from us.


One fine day, as the ladies were cooking and the children playing, a hungry compound head called Afan Sana was hungrily waiting for his launch. I will conveniently gave a Sanyang surname to Afan Sana for easy narration. let's start again, Afan Sana sanyany's launch was ready and his missus placed the warn super kanja in front of the starving Afan.
The ladies went to eat with the chids as it is the custom. Afan Sana Sanyang couldn't wait for his elder children. He started eating briskly. At the material time, a lonely chicken was pecking right in front of Afan Sana. The chicken was looking at the way Afan Sana Sanyang was eating. The Sanyang kunda man was so hungry ,he was picking up all droplet foods from the mat. I mean the chicken was shocked. In the villages chicken's eat from drop down foods and maize that fell on the floor during pounding. This time the afan left no food on the floor. He picked them all. The respectful chicken was still waiting to see whether there will be any grumps and left overs but to its horror, the Sanyang old man clean up the whole bowl. Nothing for the watching chicken. Desperate times requires desperate measures.
The chicken now turn to plan B. It observe Afan Sana cleverly and found out that the Afan beards has some food particles on it. fooo the chicken went, trying to eat the particle on the afan's beard. Suddenly the not so brave Afan sana panics and fell on the floor. The chicken then jumped and landed on greedy Afan Sana's chest. It peck on the rice particles until they are finished. People started screaming, sisaw yeh afan sana borin (the chicken has rassle afan sana to the floor) . They enquire how can a chicken rassle afan sana to the ground? the elders concluded that ,nin yaa jeeh sisaw yeh afan sana borin, kuwolii nin nkenya lemou (if you see a chicken can rassle afan sana to the ground ,things have some ways to to them). please the sanyang kunda folks, leave the droplet food for the chickens next time ok.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008


very good links for FDI in africa and other less developed economies.

I am tied to elaborate futher. calas. time for family. laugh


visiting Gregory Mankiw's blog helped me understand quiet a lot of economic stuffs in simple not too jargonise manner. the posting on the sub-prime prima is hilarious. thanks Greg.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

The student killings in the Gambia

I offer my condolences to the family of the April 10 and 11 student massacre in the Gambia. The truth is yet to come out as to who authorised the brutal killings. We as citizens of the Gambia held the government of Yahya Jammeh responsible for authorising the trigger happy soldiers and paramilitary to shoot at the student demonstrators. In decent democracies, student protest is part of the civic rights. Why should the Gambia be any different? yet we call ourselve a Democratic country. I would refer to our democracy as a selective democracy, selective because the government wish to be seen in the international community as a protector of human rights and good governance. But that is not the case as far the Gambia is concerned.

speaking to some friends yesterday. The rumours that our head of state is bananas is rife, whatever his mental state ,we are sick and tied of his brutal system of locking up,killing and unnecessary arrest of Gambians. Who is Yahya to be violating the freedom of Gambians repeatedly without any remorse? The situation is a worry for every decent and peace loving Gambian. At the final analysis ,Yahya will loose, his tyranny shall end, he will not only leave an ugly legacy but also a hammering of the painful sort from his maker, We too shall request for his punishment in a Gambian court. May the Almighty forgive the souls of the diseased students and grant them Jannah. Amen.

Jambah Jabale ,the story

As the name indicate, jambah jabale is a myhtical form of decorating a kankuran with leafs all round the body from head to toe. the strange thing about a jambah jabale is that ,it dance to a form of redem that is unique only to him. the jambo (leaf) that is use to decorate him is the jalo tree. jambah jabale only dance with fresh green leafs on ,meaning the leaf must be fresh and not dried (jambah jabale) the leaf cannot be dry.jambah jabale was once dancing to its tune in a village call Jemde in the wulli-sandou border urd. a young would-be kankuran enjoyed the tune so much,he started dancing to the tune unique to jambah jabale. jambah jabale's don't speak when in ceremonial custumes. but when one violate their rules, that is dancing to their tune especially a kankuran, they get upset. this time the jambah jabale was very crossed. he quietly told the new kankuran hee fansu juloma (dance to your own tune) but the kankuran being new never understood what the jambah jabale was on about.jambah jabale repeated this warning several times but the new kankuran continue to enjoy himself with jambah's tune, suddenly a scamish ensued. the men of jambah jabale and the men of the kankuran engaged each other in a slanging match. but the new kankuran was at fault. no one dance to jambah jabale's tune. he was strip of his kankaran custumes and send parking. funny.jambah jabale's are a rear entertainers now a days, they can sing when night fall,their voice are very melodious and encapturing ,.only at night they sing. one of their famous song is fito yee malamala jabalee la fito yee malamala han nim nmanyinya danko nnaa fito yemalamala. (let the leafs shine ,jabale's leafs must shine,even if he looks ugly ,the important thing is that ,my leafs are shining) .i thought kondorong would remember those days but him being a young man, he is forgiven for not recalling the wulli/sandu traditions.