Following the turmoil of a contested presidential election in 2016, The Gambia faced an uncertain future. While the population had high expectations for the political transition, a fragile economy along with the state’s poor record in providing basic public services threatened the country’s stability. Peaceful parliamentary elections in 2017 paved the way for policymakers to restore fiscal sustainability and lay the groundwork for the country’s economic recovery. The European Union has supported the democratic transition from the outset with an ambitious budget support program that includes complementary support measures implemented by a technical assistance team…DAI
Remembrance is an essential step in the transitional justice process. With this in mind, the NGO ANEKED has created “The Duty to Remember”, a memorial intended to offer a space in which the relatives of the victims of Yahya Jammeh’s regime in The Gambia can mourn, remember and reflect. TRIAL International
The virtual exhibition – organized and designed by the University of Geneva – is in collaboration with ANEKED (African Network Against Extrajudicial Killings and Enforced Disappearances) forms part of Human Rights Week, 2020. Supported by TRIAL International.
‘Since its creation in 2013 (Human Rights Week), under the impetus of Ms. Micheline Calmy-Rey , the event has evolved into a rendezvous rich in events in various formats: conferences, debates, film screenings, exhibitions, artistic performances, but also an academic colloquium and activities offered to secondary school students.
Human Rights Week is intended to be a space not only for reflection, but also for public debate while promoting concrete actions. It provides a platform for personalities or organizations who mobilize to defend human rights and for specialists who devote their research to this topic. The different formats offer spaces for discussion with the public and the student community in order to inform, but also to give impetus to longer-term commitments, whether in the context of academic courses or to act for the causes defended by the various actors who are invited to participate in the Week…’ University of Geneva
Huge thanks to ANEKED for pulling this together during this time of COVID-19, and to the exhibition design team at the University of Geneva for creating an amazing fully interactive 3D virtual exhibition. And, as always, we are truly honored to be able to share the stories of so many of the victims, resisters, and survivors of the 22-year rule of Yahya Jammeh‘s regime.
The Gambia – R.I.P. Radio Syd, the first commercial radio station in Africa. I was extremely saddened to hear that Radio Syd had been almost entirely destroyed in a fire earlier this year, January 2020. Thankfully, the Swedish couple, Benny and Connie, who used to operate the radio station turned guesthouse, survived the fire but lost everything.
Having heard stories about the history of Radio Syd over the years I’ve spent in The Gambia, driving to the capital, Banjul, the other day, I was shocked to see what was left of the building that used to house the old radio station. Particularly as, a few years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting the Swedish couple, Benny and Connie, who had helped to run the radio station (which had long since been turned into a guesthouse). Benny made us his delicious homemade shipa shipa – sautéd shrimp – dish. Afterwards, he even showed us what was left of the old control room, by now dilapidated, which housed only a few of the remaining dusty relics of the original broadcasting equipment.
“Never did I imagine, when naming the station ‘Radio Syd’, that we would end up this far south”Britt Wadner/Founder
Connie is the daughter of the founder of Radio Syd, Britt Wadner (1915-1987). Wadner was also known as ‘thepirate queen‘. The story goes that when Wadner was prohibited – and imprisoned for a short period for violation of broadcasting laws – from operating her pirate radio station in international waters between Sweden and Denmark, she decided to sail a boat – ‘Cheeta 11′ – to find a new place to transmit. The boat eventually ended up off the coast of The Gambia, West Africa. Wadner was granted a license to transmit and in May 1970 Radio Syd went live, broadcasting to The Gambia and neighbouring Senegal. The station finally ceased to transmit when the antennae collapsed in September 2002.
A slice of history is about to totally disappear (be demolished!) from The Gambia. R.I.P. Radio Syd, and all who sailed in her.