On Thursday, August 24, 2023, the Africa Center hosted a networking event for its alumni in The Gambia. This gathering, held in Banjul, aimed at reestablishing connections, promoting mutual understanding, and building enduring partnerships among alumni members. Held on the sidelines of an Africa Center roundtable on “Strengthening the Rule of Law to Mitigate Harm: Security and Justice Provision after Conflict & Transition,” the engagement brought together approximately 35 alumni from diverse backgrounds to glean key insights from the Rule of Law roundtable, discuss common security challenges, and foster partnerships. Among the attendees were security sector professionals, political leaders, academics, civil society members, and opinion leaders. The event was also attended by Lieutenant General Yakuba Drammeh, Chief of Defense Staff, and representatives from the U.S. Embassy in The Gambia, underlining its importance.
In offering a platform for dialogue and collaboration, this alumni engagement marked a significant moment in The Gambia’s post-Jammeh era. Speakers at the event included Mr. Claude Toze, Africa Center Regional Engagement Manager, Dr. Assis Malaquias, Africa Center Academic Dean, and General Drammeh. In his remarks, the Chief of Defense Staff emphasized the importance of professionalism in the security sector and shared valuable insights from The Gambia’s experiences in restoring trust and improving civil-military relations. His remarks resonated with the audience, underscoring the role of alumni in contributing to positive change in The Gambia and the wider region.
At a time when collaboration and shared expertise are critical for addressing complex security challenges, the Africa Center’s alumni engagement in The Gambia created a conducive environment for networking, knowledge sharing, and collaboration.