By Makutu Manneh
The Gambia’s Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Lieutenant General Yakuba A. Drammeh, has won the Africa Peace and Security Leader of the Year Award. The award which is a vote-based endorsement organized by the African Leadership Magazine, is reserved annually for leading African personalities who contribute positively towards promoting the continent’s progress and by positively altering Africa’s perceived negative image. The Magazine also honours people-centric leadership and Africans pursuing a Pan-African agenda in their chosen fields of endeavour.
The awarding which was held in Port Louis, in Mauritius on Saturday 25th February 2023, was attended by prominent Africans in both defence and civil sectors.
In December 2022, CDS Drammeh was nominated for the award alongside two other distinguished African personalities in the persons of Honourable Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, the Prime Minister and Head of Defence of Mauritius and General Jean Bosco Kazura, the Chief of Defence Staff of the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF).
On Friday 2nd December 2022, Lieutenant General Drammeh emerged winner with 77.09 per cent of the votes cast in this category, while General Kazura had 16.56 per cent as the runner up.
In a statement, GAF provided that since the CDS’s assumption of the mantle of leadership of the Armed Forces of the country in March 2020, he has instituted a robust communication and public relations strategy, geared towards further rebranding and recasting of the image and credibility of the Gambia Armed Forces. That he continued to inculcate discipline and professionalism in the military while at the same time, cautions members of the Armed Forces to desist from participating in partisan politics.
“General Drammeh had reached out to his colleague services chiefs, the National Assembly, the media fraternity, civil society organisations, the diplomatic corps and international development partners, amongst others, to extend a hand of fellowship with a view to strengthening cordial relations. Lieutenant General Drammeh has also instituted several outreach and confidence building measures aimed at winning the hearts and minds of Gambians and non-Gambians alike,” GAF stated in a statement.