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Statement by His Excellency, Adama Barrow,

President of the Republic of The Gambia


Event: Swearing-in of New Cabinet Members, Secretary General and Head of the Civil Service and

Permanent Secretaries


Date:  5th September 2019

Venue: State House, Banjul


Your Excellency, the Vice President

Honourable Cabinet Ministers   

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen

Members of the Media



We are here today to swear-in a group of newly appointed public and civil servants to serve in various top Government positions. These appointments result from the need to review our performance occasionally, and effect changes, if required.


As we embark on the process of nation building, we cannot keep doing things the same way, and expect different results. Positive change leads to positive results. This is one of my government’s guiding principles.


Our country is going through a phase of transformation, which calls for strong structures and a solid human resource base. To realise our goals as a government and a people, we must stand united and work to change the country for the better.


Since coming to office, my priority has been to put our institutions in the right form, monitor and review their processes and successes, and take proper action.   


Ladies and Gentlemen,

Peace, security and the rule of law are key factors for stability. With this in view, I decided to let go the portfolio of Minister of Defence to ensure that we have a Ministry, under a Cabinet Minister to lead the sector reforms we so strongly belief in and desire to implement. It is in this context that we have a new Minister of Defence.   


Because it is also important to fast track the internal security sector reforms, I trust that with the new Interior Minister, a sharper focus and more urgency will attend the security reform programme.

I am glad that both Ministers have the expertise and experience to strengthen the peace, security, stability and rule of law we have established so far. In the current democratic dispensation, both the security personnel and the civilians must play their role. Key, in this regard, is respect for the rule of law. 


Ladies and Gentlemen,

Speeding up the civil service reform requires positive work ethics and discipline.

The Secretary General, Permanent Secretaries, Heads of Department and all civil servants have to assert the right disciplinary measures and standards in their operations and procedures. We do not have the luxury to slow down Government machinery, nor the country’s progress. The only option is to sincerely commit ourselves to service. 


As we begin the process of working together as a renewed team, I urge all of us to renew our commitment to building strong institutions for national development. The huge challenges we face in the “New Gambia” call for us to follow the right processes. In doing so, we must be selfless, and move together with vigour and seriousness.


Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me emphasise that although we are individually entrusted with positions of trust, our individual attitudes towards work will reflect on our collective achievements. Out of necessity, we have to serve as role models, and take positive steps to reform our institutions. Our positions compel us also to promote and ensure transparency and accountability. It is for this reason, and to reduce waste and corruption that Government now has a single consolidated fund.


I must point out that corruption is not about financial mismanagement only. It includes abuse of authority, cheating on hours of work by delaying outputs and refusing to follow the right procedures and processes. 


As public servants, we should be ready to face the task of building the right institutions with the right frame of mind. The country needs people who serve sincerely, no matter what their political affiliation may be. 


It is not acceptable for anyone entrusted a position of trust to undermine the Government’s policies and programmes for political considerations. What we need are the right people to take responsibility for our institutions, and lead the implementation of our policies and programmes.


Honourable Colleagues, our pledge to engage in institutional and legal reforms mandates us to work hard enough to leave behind a legacy of strong and sustainable institutions, effective laws and the right procedures.


These should be part of the basis to transform the country into a fully-fledged democracy that leads to socio-economic development and peaceful co-existence among the people.  


I have the conviction that you will all work hard, and focus on the single purpose of realising the objectives of our National Development Plan (2018-2021).


To conclude, I congratulate all of you, and wish you success in your various assignments.  


Thank you for your kind attention.