President Adama Barrow has sworn-in 10 members of his cabinet on Wednesday in Banjul. He did not quickly announce his cabinet picks, but unable to keep a tight lid on it after he faced challenges with his veep nominee.
Barrow’s administration is taking shape, leaving at least eight more cabinet positions to be filled.
Supporters of the 51-year old businessman who defeated ex-president Yahya Jammeh have expressed frustration over his decision not to name his cabinet the soonest.
The current appointees in the Barrow cabinet are career politicians, mostly from the former main opposition UDP party. This may infuse Barrow’s administration in the drama of public opinion.
Ousainou Darboe – Minister for Foreign Affairs
Darboe is a human rights attorney and ran unsuccessfully against former President Yahya Jammeh in five elections. Barrow rose to power as UDP leader after the jailing of Darboe in the summer of last year. Before going into private practice, Darboe worked as a solicitor and prosecutor for the Gambia’s justice department.
Hamat Bah – Minister for Tourism and Culture
Bah is the leader of the NRP party. He is a former hotelier and entertainment manager turned fierce politician. Mr. Bah has extensive experience in tourism and was the Chief Executive of Mansea Beach Hotel.
Omar Jallow – Minister for Agriculture
OJ Jallow was a former Minister of Agriculture under Sir Dawda Jawara’s PPP. He is currently the leader of the PPP. Agriculture is a critical sector for the Gambian economy and formerly its largest employer, especially in its rural communities. Mr. Jallow was Minister of Agriculture when Jammeh took over in a military coup in ’94.
Mai Ahmad Fatty – Minister for Interior
Mai Ahmad Fatty is the leader of the GMC party. He has never served in the armed and security services but has had his own fair share of experiences with them under President Yahya Jammeh’s regime. A human rights lawyer by profession, Fatty will be overseeing the security apparatus and detention centers.
Henry Gomez – Minister for Youth and Sports
Gomez is the leader of the GPDP Party. He had lived in Germany for long before joining national politics. Gomez has cleared doubts that he is a dual citizen. He has lived as a migrant in Europe before starting a janitorial company giving him a good understanding of the youth migration crisis.
Lamin B. Dibba – Minister for Forestry, Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources
Dr. Isatou Touray – Minister for Trade, Regional Integration and Employment
Touray is a gender and rights activist who came into the political spotlight as an independent candidate for the presidency last year. She has campaigned against harmful traditional practices for more than three decades, leading to the ban of female genital mutilation. Touray has a Ph.D. in Development and has help at least 15 women win elections for public office.
Amadou Sanneh – Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs
Amadou Sanneh is a senior member of the UDP Party and its treasurer. He was jailed by the government of Yahya Jammeh for supporting the asylum claim of another member of the party. His incarceration was seen as a politically motivated bid to render the UDP without a leader for the presidency. Sanneh is an accountant and owns a reputable financial and audit firm.
James FP Gomez – Minister for Fisheries, Water Resources and National Assembly Matters
James Gomez is the former Mayor of Banjul and will be heading a ministry that is key to President Barrow’s job creation plan for the youths. Barrow said the sector is under-explored. Gomez has to liaison between the government and the APRC-backed parliament.
Lamin N. Dibba – Minister for Lands and Regional Government
Dibba is the Chief Propagandist of the UDP party and a former parliamentarian. He was jailed with UDP Leader Ousainou Darboe last year after taking part in anti-government protests.