The Gambia: Key People Around President Adama Barrow

Now that the path has been cleared for Adama Barrow to serve as the Gambia’s president, it’s worth taking a look at his team. Here are a few key members:

  • Vice President Fatoumata Tambajang: Barrow announced his pick of Tambajang on January 23. As this bio (French) and this bio describe, she is a long-time development practitioner, human rights activist, and opposition politician. She was an adviser to Gambia’s first president, Dawda Jawara, and served in the 1990s as a cabinet minister under outgoing President Yahya Jammeh. In the lead-up to the 2016 election, she was asked to serve as a mediator between the opposition parties working to form a coalition, and was elected president of the coalition. As Al Jazeera points out, “She made headlines last month when she told The Guardian newspaper that Jammeh, who came to power in a 1994 coup, would be prosecuted for alleged crimes committed by his regime.” Given some uncertainty about whether the Barrow administration will attempt to hold Jammeh accountable, it’s noteworthy that Tambajang is already on the record on the issue.
  • Mai Fatty: Fatty is a special adviser to Barrow, a member of Barrow’s transition team, and a leader within the coalition behind him. A lawyer and opposition activist, Fatty founded an opposition party, Gambia Moral Congress (GMC), in 2009. The GMC was one of seven parties that came together to back Barrow in October 2016.
  • Halifa Sallah: Sallah is Barrow’s main spokesman. Within Barrow’s coalition, Sallah represents the People’s Democratic Organization for Independence and Socialism, whose activism dates to the 1980s.
  • Other key leaders of parties within the coalition include Hamat Bah of the National Reconciliation Party and Lamin Bojang of the National Convention Party. Barrow himself comes from the United Democratic Party.