SHE SHE SHE: AU appoints FJC to observe Botswana election

Thursday, October 23, 2014
Fatoumatta Jahumpa Ceesay (FJC) is no doubt the busiest woman in The Gambia with invitations to official functions both from the home front and abroad knocking on her doors all the time.

If you live in The Gambia you will definitely agree, but if you are a stranger and wondering why this is so, the answer is simple: FJC is a woman for all positions, because she has the beauty, intelligence, experience, willingness but above all she loves challenges.

What amazes one more is the respect she has for her fellow human beings. It does not matter if you are young or old, rich or poor, everyone is equal to her. She is a woman of substance, a career woman, a mother, a mentor and a friend to all.

She is the most down to earth woman I ever met.

Any position within the country or beyond when given to her, she takes care of it and makes sure she is remembered for the good Job done, even after leaving the job.

FJC was recently nominated by the African Union to be an election observer in Botswana. To know more on her nomination and the positions she holds within the country and beyond, please read on.

Fatoumatta Jahumpa Ceesay (FJC), the former speaker of the National Assembly in Banjul, has been nominated by the African Union among a host of other prominent Africans, to monitor and observe this month’s presidential elections in Botswana.

FJC was a deputy speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament.

The observers were dispatched by the African Union Commission chairperson to monitor the Botswana general elections which will be held on 24 October.

FJC has vast experience in election monitoring and observation. Although she has become a well-known face in election monitoring and observation across the ECOWAS region, this is her first engagement with AU as an election observer.

FJC who recently bagged a doctorate degree in international relations from the Zoe Life Theological College, Philadelphia, United States also holds a higher national diploma from the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Centre in Ghana.

FJC obtained a higher diploma certificate in print journalism at the Centre for Foreign Journalists in Reston, Virginia, USA in 1995.

Mrs Fatoumatta Jahumpa Ceesay was born in The Gambia on 25 October 1957.

She is the daughter of the first indigenous mayor of the capital city of Banjul, Mayor Garba Jahumpa.

Ms Jahumpa Ceesay’s commitment to women and youth development culminated in her appointment as a Lady Councilor to the Banjul City Council in 1985 and, in 1989, following in her father’s footsteps, she became the first female Deputy Mayor of Banjul City, and later, the Acting Mayor of Banjul City.

FJC started her professional career as an Announcer at Radio Gambia. She later joined Gambia Airways Ltd, where she became a Senior Administrator.

During this period, Mrs Jahumpa Ceesay underwent local and overseas training courses and obtained certificates in International Cargo Procedures and Personnel Management.

In April 1993, Mrs Jahumpa Ceesay joined the Daily Observer Newspaper as a columnist for issues on women, children, family focus items, and political issues.

She thereafter had a stint with Citizen FM Radio as News Anchor/Producer, responsible for the presentation of women’s programmes in 1995.

She holds several diplomas in Print Journalism. She was one of the best graduates from the Centre for Foreign Journalists in Reston Virginia, U.S.A. in 1996.

Mrs Jahumpa Ceesay is a member of the APRC National Executive Committee and a coordinator of its women’s wing.

She was the first Publicity Secretary when the party was formed in 1996, and was a member of President Jammeh’s Campaign as Secretary to the team.

Mrs Jahumpa Ceesay was appointed as Director of Press and Public Relations at the Office of the President in 1999. She is also a member of the Gambia Press Union.

FJC as she is fondly called, is a warm, people’s person. She is affiliated to and has been a founding member of many children’s and women’s organizations both at home and abroad.

She is also an avid golf player, and remains the unbeaten female golf champion in The Gambia.

In 1999, Ms Jahumpa Ceesay started a fundraising drive on behalf of newborn needy infants.

This project has been expanded to the charitable foundation known as Operation-Save-A-Baby which is headed by the Gambian First Lady, Mrs. Zineb Yahya Jammeh.

For her dedication to the cause of women and children, Ms Jahumpa Ceesay was decorated with the Insignia of the Medal of the National Order of the Republic of the Gambia by the Gambian President in 2000.

In January 2002 she was nominated by President Jammeh as a member of the National Assembly.

In February 2002, she was nominated to the West African Community Parliament (ECOWAS Parliament).

Ms Jahumpa-Ceesay is the co-coordinator of Economic Community Female Parliamentarians Association (ECOFEPA) and the first woman to be appointed Deputy Speaker (4th) in the ECOWAS Parliament.

In February 2007, she was again nominated by President Jammeh as Speaker of the National Assembly.

In recognition of her sustained and invaluable contribution to not only the development of The Gambia but Africa in general, FJC was in August 2008 elected as the 1st African woman to head the largest Regional Parliamentary Group in the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association as president of the Africa Region.

FJC’s journey to greatness as a woman is through hard work, dedication, patience, tolerance and commitment to duty.

If you think or see women as liabilities to the state or society, look up to FJC; see her as an example and leave your woman or your girl-child to go to school so that she can become the next FJC not only to the Gambia but to the world at large.

If you want to talk about the positions she held or the contributions she has made to her country and the world, the ink you are using will dry up, or the computer keyboards will freeze.

This is because one cannot finish talking about FJC - an asset to her country, the African continent and the world at large.

Author: Halimatou Ceesay
Source: Picture: FJC at the WAF press briefing