Reports from Ghanaian media indicate that the country is set to mount a democracy exhibition in Banjul, The Gambia, dubbed “The Colour of Peace”. The precise date of the event is not indicated but it is said to be part of series of events to commemorate the 57th anniversary of Ghana’s Independence.
A statement to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Monday signed by Paapa Nketsiah, former Public Affairs Director of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) said the task of promoting democracy under economic and social hardships was enormous but rewarding. According to Paapa Nketsiah the creative team noted that, “Brilliant rendition of colour could render Ghana’s democracy very welcoming to the mass of the people, which could provide a firm foundation for the success of Ghana’s democracy”.
Relationship between Ghana and The Gambia had gone a bit frosty following the alleged murder of some Ghanaians in Gambia in July 2005 under controversial circumstances.
In July 2009, The Gambia and Ghana signed a Memorandum of Understanding to put their estranged relationship to rest and renew friendly ties following a joint UN/ECOWAS Report that ruled out Gambia’s complicity in the deaths and disappearance of Ghanaian nationals in Gambia in 2005. President John Atta Mills and President Yahyah Jammeh of Gambia reaffirmed their condolences to the bereaved families after the signing ceremony in Sirte, Libya. The two presidents were attending the 13th Ordinary Session of the African Union and the asked the issue to be put to rest for the two countries to forge ahead.
President Jammeh said the issue was the greatest accusation he had faced since his assumption of office. “This is the craziest accusation I have ever faced,” he said.
Through years of political instability and hardship, a lot of changes have occurred in Ghana. The huge pool of professionals in Ghana coupled with the slow pace of economic growth has led to the need for the export of Ghanaian talents. One hot spot for the hosting of Ghanaian professionals is The Gambia.
Statistically, the Ghanaian population in The Gambia is relatively high with some estimating to be over 20,000 Ghanaians, both skilled and unskilled.
There is a whole town named Ghana Town where most Ghanaians in The Gambia live, work and earn foreign exchange for Ghana through their remittances. Ghana Town has a community, with Ghanaian chief as well as Ghanaian spiritual leaders. On the other side, there are about 1500 Gambians in Ghana.
Ghana gained independence from Britain in March 1957 and became the first sub Saharan African country to attain independence. The Gambia followed suite 8 years later in February 1965. And now the few questions I ask is whether Ghana is set to export her democratic credentials to The Gambia. If so, will Gambians warmly receive it? Even if the general population is willing to accept it, President Jammeh is not likely to buy the idea because for him, The Gambia is already democratic. But certainly he will prefer it to the European Union’s demand for political dialogue at least for now.