Minister of Information Communication and Infrastructure
Demba Ali Jawo was appointed The Gambia’s Minister of Information and Communication Infrastructure in February 2017. He was previously Editor of the African Press Agency (APANews) in Dakar, Senegal, a post he held since 2006.
Mr. Jawo was born in the village of Choya in Niamina West district in the Central River Region of The Gambia in the early 1950s. After he left school, he joined the Gambia Utilities Corporation (GUC) as a stores clerk. He later pursued a course on purchasing and management with Crown Agents in the United Kingdom.
While still working with the Gambia Utilities Corporation, Mr. Jawo developed a passion for journalism and started contributing articles to various local and international publications. He began his full-time journalism career in the late 1970s at The Nation newspaper in Banjul under the tutelage of one of the doyens of Gambian journalism, William Dixon-Colley. He rose through the ranks to be News Editor of the Daily Observer and Editor-in-Chief of The Independent newspaper in Banjul.
Mr. Jawo underwent formal journalism training in Germany, Israel and Ghana. He obtained a Diploma in Journalism at the International Institute of Journalism in Berlin, Germany.
In 1998, Mr. Jawo took over as President of the Gambia Press Union (GPU) from the late Deyda Hydara. He steered the affairs of the GPU, both as President and Administrator of the GPU Secretariat, stepping down in 2005 at the end of his second term. Hethen became Course Director of the UNESCO-sponsored Media Training Centre, run by the National Commission for UNESCO in Kanifing, greater Banjul. He had also worked briefly worked as stringer for the BBC African Service, was Banjul correspondent for Associated Press and correspondent for the Economist Intelligence Unit.
Mr. Jawo has had an avid interest and involvement in human rights work and was a founding member of Amnesty International (Gambia). He undertook a study on Gambian journalists in exile in 2013, and participated in an African Union project ‘Child Protection in Peace Support Operations’ in 2015. He is co-author of ‘A Living Mirror – The Life of Deyda Hydara’ and author of ‘Focus: Challenges of The Gambia’s Transition to Democracy.’