The government has finally confirmed that they are dropping English as the official language of The Gambia.
In a chat with What’s On-Gambia, Information Minister Sheriff Bojang said they have reached a unanimous decision to drop English for Fula. According to him, the change would take effect latest January 2020.
“The Fulas are becoming the country’s biggest ethnic group and as you know their language is widely spoken in West Africa,” said the Brikama-born minister.
He added: “The change doesn’t mean that English would be completely abandoned. The government will continue to provide services in English for non-Fula speakers. It is the same in many countries were the colonial language was ditched.”
Opposition leaders, Omar Jallow (PPP) and Amat Bah (NRP) have both written to the president to thank him. According to them, it is a significant development in the country’s history that deserves celebration.
Amat Bah told What’s On-Gambia: “I have just collected an APRC membership form to join the party. This is all I wanted, Fulas to be recognized in this country. Jammeh Jilanka is a true Pan Africanist and on behalf of all the Fulas in Guinea and The Gambia, I want to thank him for recognizing us.”
The NRP leader said they are planning to have a concert at July 22 Square as celebration for the government’s bold decision. Some top Guinean musicians are expected to grace the stage.
However, sadly, not everyone was happy about Fula becoming the country’s official language. A group of Fana Fana elders from Niamina has requested an audience with the president. They want the government to either reverse the decision or make Fana Fana Wollof as the second official language.
Photo courtesy of Fulbe Africa