Gambia: Activists applaud order for ministers to declare assets

Gambia: Activists applaud order for ministers to declare assets

Gambian activists are cheering President Adama Barrow’s executive order to have all his cabinet minister declare their assets by mid-July.

It will be the first for the small West African nation since it gained independence from Great Britain 52 years ago.

Activists say it will help curb corruption and hold public officials accountable. They are also urging Mr. Barrow to have the electoral commission release his tax and asset documents.

“It is highly welcomed and it will help address corruption. It is up to us, citizens to make the best use of this and engage the land department and other relevant authorities to cross check and ensure accountability,” said Pa Samba Jow.

The asset declaration is part of Barrow’s campaign promises. It is six months since he took power and this is his first apparent show of transparency and accountability.

The country secured a $16 million dollars (D640 million dalasis) emergency credit from the IMF on Monday in hopes to close budgetary gaps and address urgent financial needs.

Corruption was rife in the regime of former President Yahya Jammeh. Jammeh stands accused of siphoning billions during his reign and making away with more than US$50 million in the last days of his presidency.

Gambian authorities have frozen his assets, a move that affected 131 landed properties, 88 banks accounts, a dozen companies and livestock.

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