In yet another show of magnamity and in a bid to strengthen sub-regional institutions, President Alhaji Dr Yahya Jammeh, on Friday night, donated a cheque in the sum of D4.5m to the West African Insurance Institute (WAII).
In addition, the president handed over the key of a 50-seater air-conditioned bus to the institute to ease its transportation.
The Gambia leader’s donations coincided with WAII’s 30th anniversary and Award Dinner Night held at the Jama Hall of the Kairaba Beach Hotel. At the ceremony, President Jammeh was awarded as the Grand Patron of the institute together with President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone, who was in Banjul to grace the occasion. The award is the highest given by the institute since its establishment.
In a brief but frank speech, President Jammeh said that as the Gambia is the host country of WAII, he will make sure all member states that established the institute take it upon themselves to make annual contributions to the institute which at present relies heavily on support from philanthropists to meet their operational costs.
He said such philanthropic support should be complimentary to the efforts of the respective governments as they made the commitments by establishing WAII. Dr Jammeh spoke of his desire to see the institute on a stronger footing for it could play a pivotal role in the human resources development of The Gambia’s growing economy.
Speaking earlier, Musa Gibril Bala-Gaye, secretary of state for Finance and Economic Affairs who doubles as the chairman of WAII’s Governing Council, said the anniversary is meant to honour individuals who have contributed immensely to the development of the institute and insurance in member countries. He thanked President Jammeh for giving the institute the conducive environment to operate in The Gambia.
The ceremony also witnessed the issuance of awards to doyens of insurance and philanthropists from the member countries. Two Gambians, Alhagie Babu Ceesay and Saikou Camara received merit awards for being among the five signatories of the protocol establishing the institute.
The programme which progressed into the early hours of Saturday also included entertainment with songs and displays by cultural troupes.
Present at the occasion were the vice president, Aja Isatou Njie-Saidy, Speaker Fatoumata Jahumpa-Ceesay, Chief Justice Abdou Karim Savage, secretaries of state, and service chiefs amongst others.