EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara’s name remain respected while his legacy continue to glimmer in The Gambia and the rest of Africa. He was Gambia’s president after gaining independence from the British from 1970 to 1994, when he was toppled by Yahya Jammeh in a coup.
In remembering him as one of the architects of Gambia’s democracy, the country’s Transport, Works, and Infrastructure ministry, Monday announced that the International Conference Center building, which will host the 2022 Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) head of state summit in Banjul, is named ‘The Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Centre.’
President Adama Barrow will inaugurate the building this Saturday. Constructed through a $50 million Chinese government grant, the conference center is named after the country’s elder statesman in honour of his towering legacy.
The idea for Gambia to host the world’s second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations last year was first proposed by former President Yahya Jammeh which failed to materialise under President Adama Barrow.
With a membership of 57 states spread over four continents, the Organization is the collective voice of the Muslim world. It endeavors to safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony among various people of the world.
The conference center is a state-of-the-art facility consisting of a plenary hall with seating capacity of 1,031, four adjoining conference halls, VIP rooms, bilateral rooms, press room, meeting rooms, offices, banquet halls and entertainment spaces with beautiful fauna and sea view.
The OIC Gambia Secretariat was established as a charitable organization under the Companies Act of The Gambia 2013. It is under the president’s office to coordinate preparations for Gambia’s hosting of the 2019 OIC summit this November, which failed.
The first OIC Charter was adopted by the 3rd ICFM Session held in 1972. The Charter laid down the objectives and principles of the organization and fundamental purposes to strengthen the solidarity and cooperation among the Member States.
Over the last 40 years, the membership has grown from its founding members of 30 to 57 states. The Charter was amended to keep pace with the developments that have unraveled across the world. The present Charter of the OIC was adopted by the Eleventh Islamic Summit held in Dakar on 13-14 March 2008 to become the pillar of the OIC future Islamic action in line with the requirements of the 21st century.
About Sir Dawda Jawara
Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara, (born May 16, 1924, in Barajally, died August 27, 2019, Fajara), is a politician and veterinarian who was The Gambia’s prime minister from 1962 to 1970 and its president from 1970 until he was overthrown in 1994.
The son of a Mande trader, Jawara was educated at a Methodist boys’ school, studied veterinary medicine at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, and qualified as a veterinary surgeon in 1953. Returning to The Gambia, he became principal veterinary officer of that British colony in 1957.
Jawara had become interested in politics, and in 1959 he joined the Protectorate People’s Party. He changed its name to the People’s Progressive Party and became its leader. In the elections of 1960 he won a seat in the Gambian legislature and was appointed minister of education in the government. He resigned his ministerial post in 1961 when the British government picked a rival Gambian leader to serve as the country’s interim prime minister preparatory to new elections.
The People’s Progressive Party won the general elections of 1962, and Jawara became The Gambia’s prime minister. He led his country into independence from Great Britain three years later. Under his leadership, the tiny nation of The Gambia became one of Africa’s few successful parliamentary democracies; Jawara’s ruling People’s Progressive Party won six successive elections (1966, 1972, 1977, 1982, 1987, 1992) under completely free conditions after independence in 1965.
He was knighted in 1966. Jawara served as president from 1970, when a republican constitution was adopted to replace the former monarchy under the British sovereign. Jawara survived an attempted coup in 1981 with help from neighbouring Senegal, with which Gambia joined in a confederation called Senegambia from 1981 to 1989.