Over the years, the Sports Journalist Association of The Gambia (SJAG) and the National Presse Sportive De Senegal (ANPS) have enjoyed a fruitful cooperation.
On Sunday, a delegation of Gambian sports journalists returned from Dakar after attending the latter’s 15th awards night. The two have attended each other’s awards ceremonies, which celebrates past and present sports personalities in the respective countries.
The relationship between the two associations has been described, at the multilateral level, as a role model for other bordering countries. “The two countries are one, but divided by colonial rule.” said Mattarr Ba, Senegal’s Minister of Youth and Sports. “There is a possibility for The Gambia and Senegal to jointly host African Cup of Nations and other sporting events.”
“The success of Senegal could not have been possible without the journalists,” Ba explained. “Sports is an important tool to promote peace and unity in the region. President Macky Sall has high regards for the sports journalists. Sports journalists are worth supporting because there is nothing to unite two factions more than sports.”
Gambia’s Sports Minister Hadrammeh Sidibeh was also in Dakar to attend this award night for the first time. On the sidelines of the event, Sidibeh had the opportunity to meet and discuss with his Senegalese counterpart Matarr Ba, on the role of sports journalism in promoting peace and unity in the region. “There’s a lot Gambia can learn from Senegal’s success sport stories,” Sidibeh said. While praising the SJAG president Musa Sise for his commitment to sports development, Sidibeh gave assurance of his support to SJAG. “The Gambia can gain a lot from Senegal, in terms of capacity building. He expressed readiness to support the association to better promote sports. “I am ready to work with and support them.”
Musa Sise and Abdoulie Thiam, presidents of SJAG and ANPS, both renewed their commitment to strengthening the already existing bilateral ties between the two associations. “I hope The Gambia’s Sports Ministry will learn from their Senegalese counterparts and give the needed support to sports journalism,” said Sise. “The SJAG is very much committed to sports promotion and development in The Gambia.”
Meanwhile, SJAG presented ‘koras’ as gifts to Senegal’s Sports Minister Matar Ba, and Former ANPS President Mamadou Koume.