Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara
Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara, the founding father of The Gambian state, led the country to Independence in 1965. He reigned for 30 years, first as a Prime Minister from 1962 to 1970, and as the President from 1970 to 1994. The author of the “Tesitto” concept was revered for his sheer tolerance, strong beliefs for human rights and democratic values. Sir Dawda and his compatriots transformed an improbable nation to one of the best multi-party democracies in a region plagued by military coups and dictatorships. At a time when bloody wars plagued the sub-region, Sir Dawda managed to keep small Gambia a safe haven for peace. He opened The Gambian borders to thousands of refugees who later found safety and security. Jawara is also remembered for instituting a decent civil service as well as several institutional structures that shaped the country’s socio-political as well as socio-economic development. He authored the “Tesitto” concept to promote self-reliance for a stable and a prosperous nation. Sir Dawda passed away last year at the age of 95. He was hailed for his exceptional savvy leadership traits as well as his immense contributions to international peace and development.