Wednesday, February 8

Barrow describes late VP as formidable statesman

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“Badara was a formidable statesman, a scholar par excellence, a talented administrator, and a naturally gifted leader of rare courage and integrity. He was a compassionate husband, loving father, a trusted friend, and a colleague of many shades,” the president stated.

He added that the late VP’s service to The Gambia from the First and Second Republics to the new democratic dispensation under his leadership makes him one of the truly exceptional and accomplished Gambian citizens. He further said that former VP Joof had the privilege of serving the country in various capacities. 

In his long speech delivered before the Assembly, Barrow continued that during his career in public service, the late VP climbed from the lowest rank of the Public Administration Cadre as Assistant Secretary to the top as Permanent Secretary in several Government Ministries. He said these included the ministries of Basic and Secondary Education, Youth and Sports, and of Local Government, Lands and Regional Administration.

“Along the way, he initiated decisive Government policies and programmes. As Permanent Secretary, for instance, he led the mid-term review of The Gambia’s fifteen-year Education Policy 1988-2003, which significantly changed the education landscape in the country, and he boldly master-minded the famous Local Government Decentralisation Policy.”

“As a Cabinet Minister, Honourable Joof worked like a real professional to oversee the development of the Tertiary and Higher Education Policy, the review of the National Accreditation and Quality Assurance Authority Act, and the formulation of the current National Research Policy. He also passionately championed the transformation of The Gambia Technical Training Institute into the emerging University of Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology, and The Gambia College into a degree-awarding institution.”

Late VP, he said, was among the highly reputable brains of The Gambia while stating that outside government, he worked for the World Bank as an Education Specialist for over a decade. Before his appointment as minister in 2017, Barrow disclosed that Joof was a World Bank Regional Director for West and Central Africa. 

“He had a sharp sense of humour that he often displayed and blended with witty remarks, which made his company delightful. He was honest and blunt. In his own words, he enjoyed telling the truth, with the belief that telling the truth was the right thing to do and the best way to put things together.”