The National Think Tank never consulted some of the people said to be associated with the institution, the Freedom Newspaper can reveal. Three names have so far come up as among those not consulted before the announcement was made by the government. Former Justice Minister in the Jawara and Jammeh government Fafe Edrissa Mbai, whose name appeared on the list was said to have not been formally contacted by the those tasked with shortlisting the names of the membership of the Think Tank. A source who reached us said Mr. Mbai learned about his inclusion into the Think Tank through the papers, but he doesn’t know anything about the Think Tank. Mr. Mbai, was said to have received congratulatory phone calls from his friends, and welshers, following the announcement that his name had made it to the National Think Tank Membership, our source intimated. It turns out that he was never consulted, our source added.
Dr. Sigga Jagne was at the launching of the Think Tank, but sources said she doesn’t know anything about the scope of the Think Tank and its operational details.
Even Dr. Sheikh Tijan Sallah, who is supposed to coordinate it, doesn’t want to. He is currently coordinating PAGE 2, under the UNDP and he would rather concentrate on that, said our source.
The lack of consultation to seek the consent of those purportedly associated with the Think Tank, has shaken the faith of Gambians on the credibility of those behind this major policy initiative. Critics opined that the entire process of setting up of the National Think Tank was a mediocre one.
The National Think Tank was recently launched by the Minister of Women’s Affairs and the overseer of the office of the Vice President Fatoumatta Tambajang Jallow. She played a leading role in facilitating the formation of the Think Tank.
Observers are concern as to whether the Think Tank will not be another money seeking venture.
The National Think Tank Secretariat could not be reached for comment.