The executive board and staff of the Gambia Press Union (GPU) held their annual review and planning retreat at the FIFA Hotel in Yundum from the 5 to 6 February, 2021.
The event is in line with plans to strengthen the institutional capacity of the Union.
Speaking at the opening, the GPU President, Sheriff Bojang Jr., thanked the secretariat staff for their sacrifice and commitment to the welfare of journalists.
“I think the only institution that I know of in this country were people do their work and are passionate about their work despite all the obstacles and challenges is the GPU Secretariat,” he said. “I want to formally take this opportunity to thank them for their service.”
The GPU President hailed the out-going Secretary General, Saikou Jammeh, for his service and dedication, describing him as “a man who sacrificed his time and efforts to serve the Union”.
“Saikou is stepping out, and I want to use this opportunity to formally thank him for his service and dedication,” Bojang said.
He also took the opportunity to welcome the new Vice President and Senior Program Officer, Muhammed S. Bah and Modou S. Joof, respectively.
Saikou Jammeh described his departure as one of the most difficult decisions he made and credited the GPU for giving him a great deal of experience.
“Serving you has so far been the most memorable, honourable and fulfilling assignment in my career,” Jammeh said.
He has resigned to focus on writing, something dear to his heart.
“I missed writing in the style of the 5Ws and H. In the history of our country, has there ever been a better time to be a journalist than now?” he said.
In 2020, the GPU has implemented series of activities on welfare, safety, advocacy, and access to information. Fifteen (15) of these activities were implemented during the first half of the year, from January-June.
In the second half of 2020, the GPU implementation thirteen (13) activities from July-November.
Despite the obstacles brought about by the coronavirus pandemic and the resultant declaration of state of emergencies, most of the activities that required the participation of the board and staff, and consultancies to develop certain policies and operational documents were undertaken.
The retreat covered key aspects like the review of GPU’s Human Resource and Finance policies, 2020 project status, the development of 2021 workplan, and the Board’s priorities for 2021. In addition, programme officers took turns to present their various workplans and fundraising tasks for 2021.
Pa Modou Faal, a GPU Board’s Head of Programmes Committee, thanked the secretariat and Saikou Jammeh for their dedication towards improving the welfare of journalists.
“I would like to thank the out-going Secretary General and the Secretariat for their good work and tireless efforts and service to the Union,” he said.