Friday, September 22, 2006

The Gambia: Plus Ca Change

40 more years

My first post in the Foreign Service was in Senegal, an ex-French colony (but still a colony if you look at the stifling monetary policy backed by the Euro which discourages lending and financial innovation). The Gambia is a little English-speaking country that is surrounded by Senegal and was held up as the leading light in Africa, as it was democratic and had one of the most 'liberalized' economies. On my way to Senegal to live, it was announced that there was a coup d'etat in the Gambia so the plane wouldnt be stopping there en-route.

Now, the 'democratically' elected President of the Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, says that he will stay in power for another 40 years no matter what the polls say. To quote, "no coup d'etat or elections can remove me....I will develop areas that vote for me, but if you don't vote for me don't expect anything." At least he is honest.