H.E President Adama Barrow Remarks At The Swearing-in Ceremony of New Cabinet Members May 2022


 Your Excellency, the Vice President,

Honourable Cabinet Members,

Senior Government Officials present,

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

Members of the Media,


With the administration of the relevant oaths of office, the country now has a new team of Cabinet Ministers to take up the responsibilities of running the nation's affairs, as defined in the Constitution and other relevant legal documents.


As one would expect, the appointment of these Ministers signifies the trust I have in them and their ability to guide the policy direction of their various Ministries, in close collaboration with their Permanent Secretaries and technical teams.


Honourable members, on behalf of the entire nation, I congratulate you all on your new positions, and I thank you for willingly accepting to serve the nation at this level in Government.


I must warn you that, while it is an honour to hold such high positions, the challenges you will confront could be as many and complicated as the tasks and roles you will have to perform both in and out of office.


You have been identified and appointed at a time when our national institutions require strong leadership, responsive policies, transformative programmes, and better results that can positively and effectively impact on national development and the quality of life in the country.


Cabinet Ministers are generally considered to be political appointments, but it must be realised that you will have to ensure that your Ministries are run by competent staff, with the right professional, administrative, and management structures in place to function efficiently.


The leadership in Government institutions sets the tone, pace, discipline and efficiency levels for the personnel. I challenge you to develop in your Ministries a culture of high-level performance, productivity and results within agreed timeframes. This goes way beyond party politics.


There are lessons to learn from the last five-year transition phase. Although we registered resounding successes, the need to brace up for greater achievements and a sharper approach to nation-building is too evident to require emphasis. 


Your appointments to Cabinet have come at a time when Gambians want Government to be held accountable. This is an era in which the citizens are better informed and politically more active.


They now enjoy uncensored freedom of expression, association and participation in national issues, and are determined to fight corruption. As a result, public figures must think, act, and behave differently in the national interest.   


Our rate of development as a nation has not been fast enough over the past fifty-seven years of nationhood. We have to re-double our efforts to deliver on providing better living conditions and a conducive environment that sustains improved livelihoods.


We will never catch up with other nations if we continue to focus on individual growth, instead of re-orienting ourselves collectively for the general welfare of all citizens. Because we cannot shy away from party politics in a democracy, my philosophy hinges on politics for development, and development for the people. Let our focus and emphasis be on the best interest of the nation.  

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

In the past five years, attempts to implement robust reform programmes and unite the people for justice and reconciliation were slowed down by both global and national factors.  



In various ways, individual interests and political party loyalty have compromised performance and progress in the public service. Attitude and commitment to work have been questioned in many instances, and there are moments when personal gain appears to outweigh output. The result is that, often, performance levels fall below expectations.


Now that we have transitioned into a new political phase, this state of affairs has to change. Competence, timely delivery of service, and output must prevail over everything else in all Government institutions. 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Expectations are high, as expressed by the electorate recently. This Cabinet is expected, therefore, to generate and guide policy initiatives, and move our institutions forward to fulfil the people’s development aspirations.


The lingering effects of the pandemic, declining economies globally, price hikes all over the world, conflicts, and unrest in every corner of the globe make it an obligation for us to re-design our strategies and take bold innovative steps to combat all these challenges and trends. 


I expect and encourage all Ministries to build genuine and fruitful partnerships, and work with all sincere stakeholders to yield results for the people. We are in a world shaken by instability as well as economic and political crises. Our response must be bold, appropriate and decisive. 


We have to engage our citizens to participate fully in the economic and productive sectors, and take charge of their destiny. Our policies must also support the youths, the women, and all other segments of society to draw on their energies and talent.


In other words, we must maintain an inclusive government, and public policies should create a conducive environment for equal access to services and enough space for popular participation.

Honourable Members, Ladies and Gentlemen,

We have earned the trust of Gambians to continue with the excellent development work started in the last few years. Despite all the challenges that confronted us, we made giants strides in key development areas. The lesson is that, if we remain focussed and committed, we can develop this country much faster. 

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,


I am obliged to express profound gratitude to the outgoing Cabinet members. I sincerely appreciate their laudable contributions to the welfare and development of the nation during their tenure of office.  We have built close relationships, and I will remember each of them for their worth as patriots, professionals, and Gambian citizens of honour. I wish them the best of luck in their next journey outside the Cabinet, hoping that they will continue to contribute to our dear nation's peace, stability, and development.


I assure the in-coming Cabinet of my support, but we must take a zero-tolerance stance on corruption. We are responsible for the state resources in our custody, and should not be found wanting.  Strict measures will be taken to implement the anti-corruption law; therefore, it is best we work towards making The Gambia a model country for public service delivery.


I encourage you to work in harmony, with sincerity and wisdom, while promoting peace, stability, and respect for the rule of law. 

I wish you well, and pray that God bless our efforts.

Thank you for your attention.