Friday, 23 November 2018

Re: New Law To Make 80% Of Music On Radios Gambian

Reference is invited from the Standard Newspaper on its November 19, 2018, publication as per the above subject matter. ‘’The Minister of Tourism and Culture Hamat Bah has revealed that the government is in closing stages to introduce a new regulation which will stipulate that at least 80 per cent of all music to be played on radio stations be Gambian’’.

Hamat Bah should note that Radio stations playing different music is a matter of choice. It's not the business of the government to determine what type of music should be played in radio airwaves after acquiring their operational license. Dictating the radios will be subjected to modern day dictatorship in the 21st Century.

It is true that the Gambia music industry need helps but with such a policy as proposed by the Tourism Minister can have a negative impact as it violates Section 25 Subsection (1) A of the said 1997 Constitution of the Republic of The Gambia. Besides, Hamat should focus on salient issues affecting our tourism industry for a better Gambia we all want to see as Tourism is a major contributor to The Gambia’s GDP. The unanswered question is what has played music had to do with the development of the music industry?

Let the Minister through the stakeholders open the doors, and create the dialogue between the different sectors that feed and sustain the music industry. As Minister of Tourism and Culture, he should support festivals and events that will build a strong economy and vibrant communities, attract tourists and contribute to revenue creation especially the said Musician. And continue to measure the contributions of these events and festivals and ensure that all decisions relating to them are supported by sound economic analysis and policies.

The last time I checked Hamat Bah has been on the headlines of the media both those home and abroad as per his controversial remarks. ‘‘The Minister of Tourism and Culture, Hamat NK Bah, has called on the Gambia’s backway migrants to return home and marry as many wives as they could in order to ease the burden of rising single women on Gambian society’’. (Thepoint, 2017).

“We are not a sex destination. If you want a sex destination, you go to Thailand. The Gambia is not a sex destination. We are not, and please every Gambian must sing that song. We cannot afford to see this country to be brought to that level. We must protect and preserve this country,” Hamat Bah told Kerr Fatou.

The Minister should be informed that he is no more an ordinary person and his words can have an impact on the society and the country at large if mathematically calculated and wrongly executed. Since we are in the tourism season, it will be better for the minister and his administration to formulate strategies, plans that will increase and boost the number of tourist’s arrival annually.

By: Saidina Alieu Jarjou
Political Activist 

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