Thursday, 13 March 2014
Gambia to shift to local language: President
Gambia President Yahya Jammeh says he wants to implement new policy that would change the country’s language from English to a local language.
“We no longer subscribe to the belief that for you to be a government you should speak English language. We should speak our language,” President Jammeh said Friday.
The statement comes after the Gambian government announced its withdrawal from the Commonwealth, describing the association of 54 countries as a “neo-colonial institution” in which the West African country would never join.
Jammeh also recently criticized the United Kingdom for having no “moral platform” to talk about human rights.
“What brought the British to the Gambia in the first place - which was bigger than it is now —was trade in ivory because the Gambia had a lot of elephants,” he said, adding, “They wiped out all the elephants and ended up selling Africans.”
In 1965, Gambia joined the Commonwealth, the 54-member grouping made up largely of former British colonies.
According to the London Declaration of 1949, the British Queen acts as the symbolic head of the Commonwealth.
Gambia, a country in West Africa, is a tiny sliver of land wedged into Senegal.