Gambia’s President Adama Barrow acknowledged the efforts of the country’s Diaspora community, which had strongly campaign against former President Yahya Jammeh’s rule.
The diaspora community is the financial backers of local opposition groups, eight of which united to form the coalition that defeated Jammeh in the polls.
There influence in the country’s politics can be felt. Many were unable to return to Gambia during Jammeh’s rule and his ouster saw dozens of key opposition activists amongst them return to embrace the new found democracy.
At least D5 million has been raised in the few week leading to the polls, a much-needed fund for Barrow’s campaign.
Diasporans were key in having Washington and Brussels take action against Jammeh’s government. Many of them lobbied leaders in the international community and used social media to raise awareness on human rights abuses in the small country.
Social media and VoIP service were effectively used by the Diaspora to campaign for Barrow from thousands of miles away. It swung youth votes and rallied first-time voters to cast their ballot for Barrow.
Barrow was inaugurated on Saturday as part of the country’s 52nd independence celebrations.