A new executive has been elected for the Gambian Association in Minnesota on Saturday November 23, 2013. The election was held in line with the dictates of the Association’s constitution which sanctioned its convening to usher in a new leadership every two years. It was supervised and conducted by an interim election management committee chaired by US Navy veteran and author of “A week of Hell, Papa Faal, aided by Gainako Newspaper Associate Editor and activist Yorro Jallow and a prominent member of the Women Association of Minnesota, Fatou Trawalley.

Following a carefully methodical betting punctuated by withdraws from the preliminary nomination pool, all, but one of the positions went unopposed, which was the Secretary General position. Alkali Yaffa, Minnesota National Guard Sergeant retained the presidency unchallenged. Lamin Sabally, former Gambian Journalist and Senior Electoral Officer  of the Gambia’s Electoral Commission was equally unanimously elected unopposed as Vice President, Yankuba Fadera, a strong unionist and energetic staunch supporter of the Obama Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill retained the Treasurer position, Mam Nyaha  Jome-Ceesay, a registered nurse and an active member of the MN Gambia Nurse Association won the only contested election for Secretary General, Karim Dibba, a rising computer geek  is the Information Technology Officer and  Lamin Jagne AKA DJ Bless Jagne, Minnesota top Disc Jokey emerged as Program Coordinator.

Apart from these veteran executive members, some new ones were also satisfactorily voted into the chronically daunting but self-satisfying community voluntarism office unchallenged. They include Ousman Fanding Dibba, a man with uncontested business acumen with in-depth experience in clothing business and personal project management as Auditor, Mama Corra, a young beautiful, sociable and likeable lady and daughter of one of Gambia’s undisputed music promoters of international  repute is the Social Secretary, and Ebrima Ceesay, a trained Radiologist is the Assistant Secretary General.

Brief Synopsis of the Association

The Gambian Association in Minnesota was created in 1984 but came into official establishment and recognition in 1994. Some of its main purpose includes: Establishment of a friendly and cordial relationship among all Gambians in Minnesota. It aims to unite all Gambians and provide a practical means to identify and address their concerns within the ability of the Association. Assist and support those Gambians who may be hit by crisis and to be good and reliable friends for each other even in times of adversity. Aid in general orientation of all Gambians in Minnesota. Establish and maintain strong relationships with various levels of government, businesses and non-governmental organizations. Promote the African culture as a whole and the Gambian culture in Minnesota Effectively work for the well-being of all Gambians in Minnesota. Promote and facilitate education including college, adult education, computer literacy, etc., of all Gambians.

Some Key Project Accomplishments

Since its establishment the non-political and religions association has successfully accomplished numerous admirable projects, chief among these are: Partnered with Book for Africa and MoneyGram and sent a container of 35, 000 books in worth of $165,000 to the Gambia through the Ministry of Education in 2009. The consignment was successfully distributed to many schools countrywide in the Gambia. Shipment of a 40f container of various medical items to the Gambia in September 2011. The items comprised hospital beds/mattresses, wheel chairs, syringes/needles, crash carts, neonatal beds, computers, boxes of exam/surgical gloves, walkers, exam chairs, orthopedic supplies (braces, slings, supports, prosthesis), glucose testing devices, and other miscellaneous. These were worth $150, 000 and were received by the Ministry of Health and distributed to various medical centers and hospitals in the Gambia. Conducted series of Adult Education classes for Gambians to help them through their naturalization processes. Joyfully partnered with the Minnesota local Census Bureau in 2010 to sensitize Gambian and African immigrants on the importance of having each one counted. This came at a time when the state of Minnesota was threatened with losing one of its eight congressional districts due to an assumed significant reduction in its population size. Luckily, the census results were favorable and all districts were maintained.  The Gambian soccer team participated in almost all yearly soccer tournaments and won some of these highly coveted competitions. We also celebrated many July 4 Anniversary as well as the Gambia Independence Days with speeches by invited lawyers, bankers and insurance experts, musical entertainment and captivating children speech presentations, before traditionally rapping up such socialization events with relaxing musical entertainment and feasting. In the area of cultural promotion, Gambia’s kora maestro made three impressive musical appearances in Minnesota. The last of such memorable appearances was a live performance in June 2012.  

The Gambian Association in Minnesota