Nationhood and the quest for national development: “The Gambia’s experience under the Second Republic, 1994–2015”

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Omotosho, O.F.
Ologbenla, D.K.
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The Gambia and other nations of the world are today in the tasks of nation-building, by harnessing their human, material and ecological resources and channeling them towards increased production for higher outcome and satisfactory basic needs’ requirements, the very essence of development. Man’s primary need is food, followed by security and an enabling and peaceful environment for him to tap potentials and develop him/herself for efforts of national development and human skills’ advancement. This is only achievable through a collective approach championed and protected by a legitimate and responsible government that is development-orienting in a state. The quest for this onerous task has attained its heights after the United Nations took up the universal co-ordination of capacity- building and resource utilization from 1945 when countries that formed the universally-based institution consented to its Charter, where peace and stability, as pivotal to growth, is guaranteed for all human races and nations in dealing together through cross-border relations for socioeconomic advancements. When The Gambia got her independence fifty one years ago from her former British colonial oligopoly, the first regime under Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara, 1965 – 1994, made frantic efforts to address the problem of development through her national development orientation strives and goals, presumed conservative in nature and hence inadequate for effective implementations of dynamic policies and programs that guarantee a sustainable development process. This resulted in economic sluggishness in the state that gave room to poverty and high level of illiteracy. Instead for the state now to experience enormous rapid socio-economic development and growth the way emerging countries in the Third World have and continued to, like Singapore, Brazil including those of Africa, for the thirty years of rule of the first republic, what was witnessed is underdevelopment of the development of the Gambia as a result of inactive economic policies and over-dependence on the outside that could not survive sustainable growth for the nation. This ushered in the 22nd July, Revolution led by Yahya jammeh in 1994 to bring about a positive change that can move the wheel of the small nation faster than what was being experienced. The new regime that had heralded a new era of second republic settled down for a new policy-thrust and directional approach, believed to be strategic and pragmatically positioned for not just a sustainable growth, but, also turning the Gambia to a middle/high income country as well as an economic super power. This informed “The Vision 2020” Blueprint/Agenda that the regime launched to achieve this onerous and monumental state objective in the national interest. This paper examines the Gambia’s nationhood from 1965, when it attained independence and all efforts of national development by the two regimes so far both in first and second republics. The paper looks at the various policy-thrusts of the governments and how such have been effective to achieving sustainable development goals, through socio-economic programs and other drives that have complimented the efforts of the state to realize sustainable growth.International Academic Journal of Development Research (IAJDR) Vol.5, No.2, Jan-Jun, 2018 75 The researchers view that, although, this onerous task was begun in the first republic, but, with policies that were conservatively-constructed, placing the country to be too dependent on the outside and making it to lack rigorous development strives and progress, thereby, causing it to lag in innovation and self-reliance and rendering the populace poor and nonactive. They argued that, with the coming of the second republic and a reversal of policythrust with a pragmatic approach, the economy began to be bouncing and responding to modern innovation, giving life to its citizenry and generating more vibrant, self-sustaining and reliant opportunities for them to contribute to nation-building. The paper opines that, not until this innovative and accelerated- development process began and the economy had been well-positioned and programmed under the new government, that, the Gambia began to experience genuine sustainable growth that is future guaranteeing and assuring.
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Nation , Nationhood , National development , The Gambia , Second Republic , Independence , Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES::Social sciences::Political science
Omotosho, O. F. & Ologbenla, D. K. (2018). Nationhood and the quest for national development: “The Gambia’s experience under the Second Republic, 1994–2015”. International Academic Journal Of Development Research (IAJDR), 5(2), 88