A U.S. lobbying firm has offered its services to the Barrow administration to push its interest with Trump’s White House and Congress.
The company, Scribe Strategies and Advisors will be working with the country’s Ambassador to the U.S. Sheikh Omar Faye to solidify and expand the Gambia’s productive relationships with the U.S. government, businesses, and individuals.
Barrow administration has not signed any agreement, according to Gambia government sources.
It will not be the first time Scribe has represented Gambian interest in the U.S. The group has been used by former President Sir Dawda Jawara in an unsuccessful attempt to restore democracy and legitimate governance to his country after being ousted in a 1994 coup by Yahya Jammeh.
Gambia under former President Jammeh had strained relations with U.S. government. Former U.S. President Barack Obama had not had an envoy in Banjul for most of his second term and suspended Gambia’s eligibility for the preferential AGOA trade deal.
Jammeh was defeated in an election in December. He was forced out of power after a regional force was deployed to depose him and uphold the outcome of the elections. He fled to Equatorial Guinea leaving the country’s treasury empty.
Scribe is expected to strengthen bilateral relations between The Gambia and the United States, carry out publicity and communicate the Barrow administration’s priority issues to the Trump government.
According to Scribe Founder and President Joseph J. Szlavik, the firm has represented businesses, political parties, and governments in Burundi, Cameroon, Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, South Africa, South Sudan and Swaziland.
Joseph Szlavik served at the White House during the first Bush Administration as a policy analyst in the Office of Policy Development and as liaison with the Office of Cabinet Affairs and the Office of Legislative Affairs, where he developed an intimate knowledge of the inner workings of the Congress and the various departments of the Executive Branch.
Their current clients include the governments of Uganda, Kenya, Benin, Oman and Gabon.
Correction: An earlier version of this story indicated that millions were paid by the Gambia’s government. A government source said no agreement was reached and no payment was made.