EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC) Mayor Talib Ahmed Bensouda is facilitating a new library project for his Municipality with Sister City of Madison in the United States.
On Tuesday, the two partners held a press conference at the City of Madison, where Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway and Bensouda announced the first stage of a plan to build a new public library in Kanifing.
Jerreh Kujabi, president of Madison-Kanifing sister partnership said the library project was initiated as a result of Mayor Bensouda’s visit to Madison last year, where he visited the city’s library.
Mr Bensouda said The Gambia is a poor country with a small GDP, but a beautiful country with nice beaches. He said Gambia’s population is 60% youth of age 16-35 years and has huge student population.
“Within my municipality, there are about 150,000 students and there is only one national library service in the whole country and none in my municipality. “You can imagine how that is to our students and young people,” he said.
He expressed how excited he is about the possibility of the project and what it meant to the students. “We have set up a committee to work with our counterpart in Madison and the committee is made up of educators, interested people from the community and staff. We feel we have an emergency at hand. We want students to immediately have a safe space where they could learn.”
Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, who spoke on the importance of library said education is possible because of libraries. “Kanifing needs its own library and we at Madison have the opportunity to help make that happen. It’s an honor to be the inspiration and it’s also an honor to be part of making it possible,” Conway said.
She also expressed her excitement to support the library project and also urged the Madison citizens to join help her make the project a reality so that young people across the country can have same resources and same access to knowledge like in Madison.
Madison’s other sister cities include Ainaro, East Timor; Arcatao, El Salvador; Camaguey, Cuba; Freiburg, Germany; Mantua, Italy; Obihiro, Japan; Tepatitlán, Mexico; and Vilnius, Lithuania.