She was denied scholarship by the PPP government: The story of Dr. Jainaba Saho-Kah

Written by Alieu Khan

Dr. Jainaba

For more than a decade, Lawyer Modou Lamin Saho (1932-1993) was Attorney General and Minister of Justice in the first republic – and for most of that time, some of his colleagues tried to eliminate him from the government.

Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara wanted to promote him to Vice President after the failed 1981 coup, but the PPP bigwigs allegedly insisted that the position shouldn’t be occupied by a Banjulian.

Lawyer Saho got fed-up with the infighting and resigned. As a result, some of his children were denied scholarship to further their education abroad.  One of them is Dr. Jainaba Saho-Kah, the wife of former vice chancellor of the University of The Gambia, Professor Muhammadou Kah.  She managed to overcome all the difficulties to become one of the most academically distinguished Gambian women.

Jainaba attended Gambia High School in Banjul, where she was a straight-A student. In her final year, she was named the best student in West Africa after gaining exceptional GCE exam results. She proceeded to St. Augustine’s High School for her A’ Levels and there also she was recognized for her academic prowess.

Because of her inability to secure a government scholarship to attend university abroad, Jainaba enrolled at the Gambia College to become a teacher.

The mother-of-three was an outstanding college student and a lovely young woman, who used all the opportunities that were available to her.

According to a source, she was offered scholarship by the Nova Scotia-Gambia Association to pursue her first degree at St. Mary’s University in Halifax, Canada. Jainaba graduated with Cum Laude.  She stayed in Canada for her Master’s Degree in Development Economics at Dalhousie University.

Jainaba returned home to work briefly as a lecturer with the St. Mary’s University Extension Program, while completing her Ph.D. in Urban Planning and Policy Development at Bloustein School, Rutgers – The State University of New Jersey.

She worked with the American University of Nigeria (AUN) and American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates before returning again to The Gambia – with her husband- to help improve the country’s education system.  She was the Acting Dean, School of Business and Public Administration at the University of The Gambia and Director General at the Management Development Institute.

According to her LinkedIn page, Jainaba has extensive practitioner experience working for the World Bank as an Urban/Transport Specialist designing and implementing development projects in Africa, especially in Ghana, Mauritania, Post-Conflict nations - Burundi, Rwanda and Republic of Congo.

Dr. Jainaba Saho-Kah is just an amazing woman –so many young people have benefitted from her wealth of knowledge and experience.