I want to congratulate my friend and Serere brother Honorable Baboucarr Ousman Joof, on his appointment as Minister in charge of Policy Service, Administrative Reforms, Policy Coordination, and Delivery portfolio. I have known Honorable Baboucarr Joof, both personally and professionally. Offices, the Gambia Teacher’s Union headquarters, and the offices of the Independent newspaper are opposite in Kanifing South. Moreover, we were neighbors. I know of no better person for that position than him. For years, he has invested tremendous intellectual and organizational capital into strategic execution, influence strategic planning, and transformative leadership in the Gambia Teachers Union Cooperative Credit Union.
At the core of the next-level development agenda that characterized the election victory manifesto of President Adama Barrow’s second term was the policy to lift more than 2 million Gambians out of poverty in the years ahead. This thrust is the care of lack of good governance in the crises that the Gambia has been confronted with. However, there has been no shortage of challenges for over a couple of decades now.
The Gambia has been embroiled in a vast institutional decay and unresponsive accountable public service delivery, trends challenges occasioned by red tape bureaucracy. To clear these hurdles, this administration certainly needs an organized structure, a policy framework, and the political will to make an impact. Moreover, to accelerate that change, it will require a platform that can bring all the requisite features together, enacting and enforcing the necessary policies to address the challenges and crises that tens of thousands of helpless Gambians face daily. Perhaps this was the vision of the President when he created the Ministry of Public Service, Administrative Reforms, Policy Coordination and Delivery. The Ministry is designed to proffer resolutions for the plight of hundreds of thousands of Gambians suffering from the enormous administrative bottlenecks in the country.
There is no doubt that with the creation of this Ministry, there will be better coordination of an efficient ad effective public services delivery in the Gambia. Of all the Ministries created, none is as vital as this one. The stratosphere we are presently existing in is one of the monumental crises. It is the face of compassion for this government. If it succeeds, history will likely judge this administration as a successful one. Such a structure is needed to overcome some of the challenges we face in our public service delivery within the civil and public service, especially for those who have been struck with the misfortune of the disaster of red tape business that has been replete in the Gambian public service sector.
One does not need to recite the history of poverty, the humanitarian crisis, unemployment, and the disaster situations in this country. However, we need to remind ourselves that so many of the disparities in our local communities today can be directly traced to inequalities passed on from an earlier generation that continues to suffer under the brutal legacy of poverty.
Hopefully, this specific Ministry can and will rise to such challenges. It is no secret that many of us have not been overwhelmed by almost the last governments in this third Republic. It does not take a Rocket Scientist to decipher that a chunk of us have been jaded by some of the decisions and appointments made by these administrations. However, I must say that I am thoroughly excited about creating this Ministry of Public Service, Administrative Reforms, Policy Coordination and Delivery portfolio, and President Barrow’s choice of Honorable Baboucarr Ousman Joof to head it. I am excited because I know his character, capability, and ability to deliver.
The President got it right by creating this much-needed new Ministry and merging it with the required components it needs if it is going to be positioned to leave a lasting legacy. Still, he also appointed the perfect person to build and navigate it in the way it required. I have known this exciting new Minister in a professional, political, personal, and academic capacity. I can say unequivocally that he has all the qualities needed to execute his role as Minister of Public Service, Administrative Reforms, Policy Coordination and Delivery. It has been a minute since I have been excited about any government decision.
However, I am excited about the possibilities of this one. Honorable Joof is genuinely one of a kind. The kind of citizen we desire to see contribute their quota to moving this country forward. He is kind, brilliant, pious, thoughtful, intelligent, funny, charming, considerate, brave, focused, conscientious, honest, generous, God-fearing, witty, honorable, innovative, bold, hardworking, and more.
I am genuinely excited to see what she will bring to the table. Kudos to the President for not only creating this much-needed Ministry but for having the foresight to make a suitable choice, from appointing Baboucarr Joof to reaching out to Gambians in trying to lift as many people out of poverty as possible and empowering them with public service delivery. Honorable Joof has had expansive knowledge in Public Administration, Public Public Leadership, and Management for decades. So, this new position is almost like a natural habitat to him. I have practically zero familiarity with President Adama Barrow’s record for talent acquisition. Still, his choice of Honorable Baboucarr Ousman Joof shows excellent judgment.
He is one of the most conscientious, hardworking, moral, and cosmopolitan people you can ever wish to know. He is as sharp as a tack and is one of the most aggressive and goal-directed go-getters I have ever known. President Adama Barrow is lucky to have him on his team. If the little tyrannies of bureaucracy do not style him, he will make a massive difference in his new assignment. The entire Independent clan, to whom he was a treasured friend, celebrates him!
Honorable Baboucarr Joof is a person with an almost inexhaustible pool of friends and acquaintances in and outside the Gambia. The biggest favor any friend or acquaintance can do to him, in my opinion, is never to burden him with requests for favors on account of his new position—that is what I do to my friends in power.
However, unfortunately, things are not always what they seem. Finally, I wonder how Jalai Wali and Jalamanding, through whom I became close to my brother, would have reacted to this appointment. He would probably have written digital tomes of smart, witty stuff and become his PA extraordinaire in social media. May Allah continue to guide Honorable Baboucarr Ousman Joof, The Honorable Minister of Public Service, Administrative Reform, Policy Coordination, and Delivery.