Alagi Yorro Jallow
Today, in recognition of the Gambia government’s obligation and commitment to supporting the African agenda nominating a representative from the Gambia to serve in a top position of the African Union Commission (AUC). The person’s nomination should be based more on international wheeling and dealing than just mere suitability and to enjoy political patronage besides political retirement.
President Adama Barrow and his government endorsement and the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) choice for consideration; moreover, nomination to the African Union Commission candidature should be a person who brings extraordinary experience and distinguished service at the national and international levels.
I believe the Gambia government should look to the given track record of the candidate’s moral rectitude and professional pedigree. The Gambia has benefitted tremendously from regional and international engagements of national and continental significance, especially during the political impasse.
The Gambia government nominee should have been a consummate diplomat and pragmatic politician, and idealistic technocrat, who has also steered the Country’s diplomatic engagement to greater heights. The Gambia deserves a representative, the right candidate, and not an ill-prepared political opportunist. Unlike Gambians who have a nationalist mindset, we are not guided by insidious patriotic considerations but good for The Gambia and the African continent. I do not support the candidature of former vice-president Fatoumatta Jallow Tambajang as her candidate to run for election of vice-chair of the African Union Commission.
However, I do unreservedly recommend and support also endorsed the candidature of the two other Gambian nominees Dr. Katim Touray and Mr. Ernest Aubee. Dr. Katim Touray and Ernest Aubee have been designated vying for as African Union Commissioners for Rural Economy and Agriculture. Dr. Katim Touray, a former researcher for the Ministry of Agriculture in The Gambia, and Ernest Aubee, who served as Head of Agriculture Division at the ECOWAS Commission, are Gambia’s choice aspirants to be African Union Commissioners for Rural Economy and Agriculture. Their candidacy has been endorsed by ECOWAS as the regional organization also validated the designation of Luc Marie Constant Gnakadja of Benin for the same position aimed by Dr. Touray and Mr. Aubee.
Unfortunately, the Gambia’s diplomacy is based on false “bravado.” We have a habit of celebrating everything even before we succeed, for we are a nation of public relations, empty rhetoric. Most of our diplomacy is driven by excitement and not substance. Bravado and pointless publicity does not cut it. Substance does. The Gambia had milked the African Union cow for all its worth during the political debacle. What more could have the Gambia asked for?
During the political impasse, the Gambia was set free partly due to the AU’s pressure on the regional bloc ECOWAS. After hijacking the AU agenda for some time, the Gambia would now seek to lead it? No! Any sane experienced hand in global politics knew that was not going to happen. It is akin to the Gambia wanting complete dominance of peers. The AU gave the Gambia something during the impasse. AU was asking for something in return from the Gambia to support another candidate, but instead, the Gambia sought to nominate a political opportunist to the African Union Commission.
I hope next time we seek to influence global politics, the government’s actions will not be driven by parochial interests and empty shuttle diplomacy by inexperienced political upstarts. However, we will tap into our collective “NATIONAL” experience. Bravado may have suited the government locally, but bravado has no place in international politics. International politics is the playground for suave diplomats. The Gambia needs a candidate who can serve ably to the continent with the requisite professionalism, intellect, skill, integrity, passion, and commitment; a person without any shadow of a doubt of model decency and morality; a person who has the international experience and exposure will be invaluable in driving the African Commission to achieve Africa’s immense potential. Although the nominee’s credentials must be suited for the role, the nomination should also be based more on international wheeling and dealing than mere suitability.
The Gambia should be represented in that continental body with the right person with the proper education and experience. This individual must be a person who is committed to equality, fairness, and justice and has the political stature to be an effective facilitator and a consensus-builder with a proven record of truth-telling. The Gambia needs a person who happens to be a woman, who knows what is essential to be inclusive and show that the Commission that every part of Africa can make a positive contribution to the African Union’s running.
Alagi Yorro Jallow