As the Gambia celebrates fifty-eight years of independence from British rule, some citizens believe that the tiny West African nation still needs to be economically and politically independent.
“The country is not independent economically. So for us to be independent, the government has to create job opportunities for youths to produce different products locally, rather than depending on imports,” Bakary Sanyang, a concerned citizen, explains.
He added that the trend of foreign dependency is affecting the country.
Mr. Sanyang was also quick to reveal that the tiny West African nation is not Politically independent. He cited that the government cannot make decisions without foreign interference.
Njahateh Touray, another concerned citizen, says despite Gambia gaining independence officially, the country is still controlled by the western powers.
He further said that some donors would condition the country to be able to give funds to the government.
The Gambia was the last British colony in west Africa to become an independent state within the Commonwealth of Nations, with Dawda Jawara as Prime Minister.
The economy of The Gambia, like other African countries at the time, was heavily orientated towards agriculture. As a result, reliance on the groundnut became so strong that it made up almost the entirety of exports, making the economy vulnerable.
However, gradually as years passed, this sector became dormant.
“Our agricultural sector is fragile; most of the food we consume is imported into the country. When we have the resources like the river Gambia and good land, we cannot claim to be independent when we still rely on the west,” Njahateh noted.