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July 22 anniversary: Five things about Jammeh they don’t want you to know
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July 22 anniversary: Five things about Jammeh they don’t want you to know

What do you think when you hear the name Yahya Jammeh? Dictator? Thief? Lunatic?  Well, that was what they made you believe.

But for 22 years until when he was defeated in the presidential election, President Jammeh did some truly amazing things for The Gambia and contributed significantly in promoting peace and unity in the sub-region.

Here are five things that he did for his country that his critics don’t want you to know:

Free education

Jammeh was among the few presidents in the developing world that succeeded in providing free education (from primary to secondary levels) for their citizens.

In a statement by the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE), the removal of school levies was under a special grant created by the former president in a bid to make education accessible to all Gambian children.  

Scholarships to study abroad

The former president, through his office, offered scholarships to hundreds of young Gambians to study abroad. Some of them, who attended prestigious universities in Britain, USA and Sweden, are back in the country working in the civil service.

University of The Gambia

Established shortly after Jammeh came to power, the University of The Gambia offers degree programs in development studies, economics, law, medicine, politics and journalism.

During the inauguration of the university’s governing council in 2002, the former president said: “I am hopeful that your curriculum would focus on esoteric disciplines and on research for its sake. It must also reflect partnership with government in its effort to alleviate poverty, retain our cultural values and bring up a patriotic and healthy citizenry.”

Housing estates

The Brusubi Estate and other housing projects in Tujereng, Brikama and Jabang were all rolled out during Jammeh’s presidency. More than 3000 low-income civil servants were able to own their own house.

Brusubi has blossomed during the past decade, and is now a thriving economic hub and one of the most sought-after residential areas in The Gambia.

Electricity for all

When Jammeh came to power in 1994, the majority of Gambians were living in the dark. The country was in short supply of energy, but with his intervention, a lot of households were electrified.

During the State Opening of the National Assembly for the 2015 legislative year, he said access to adequate, reliable and affordable energy is one of his government’s priority areas. 


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