After many months of waiting, the President of The Gambia Adama Barrow has finally appointed Fatoumata Jallow-Tambajang as his vice-president. The President made the announcement on his Twitter page on Thursday, ending months of uncertainty.
Barrow, who defeated the now exiled former President Yahya Jammeh in general elections in December 2016, had named Mrs. Jallow-Tambajang as his deputy in January this year but she had exceeded the legal age-limit to occupy the position.
So the government had to do the necessary legal amendments to validate her appointment. In the meantime, she was allowed to serve as the Minister of Women Affairs awaiting her confirmation as the VP.
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Her last week’s formal appointment makes her the first Gambian woman to serve as vice-president. President Barrow describes her as “a woman with wealth of experience highly required for rebuilding the new Gambia”.
Distinguished Political Career
Born in 1949 in Brikama, The Gambia, Tambajang is a distinguished Gambian politician and activist who has served in many capacities.
Before her appointment as the vice-president of The Gambia in January 2017, she served as the chairperson of the Gambia National Women’s Council, which she represented in the Gambia National Economic and Social Council for six years.
She also served as an advisor to the first President of The Gambia Dawda Jawara. Following the 1994 military coup that ousted Jawara, Tambajang was appointed as the Secretary of State for Health and Social Welfare, a post she held for one year.
Outside politics, the mother of eight has worked with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), where she was actively involved in rolling out development programs in war-torn Mano River, which forms the Liberia-Sierra Leone border.
She has been a member of the United Democratic Party (UDP) since April 2015. She later became the chairperson of the Coalition 2016, an alliance of opposition parties that supported President Barrow in the December 2016 presidential poll.
Immediately after Barrow was declared winner, Tambajang called for the prosecution of President Jammeh for atrocities committed during his reign, and also announced the formation of an asset recovery commission to reclaim what had been stolen by Jammeh’s administration.
Tambajang was educated in The Gambia, Senegal and France. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis in France. She will be replacing Isatou Njie-Saidy, who resigned in January after the defeat of his boss Jammeh.