In January of 2017, the people of The Gambia, a small West African nation, elected a democrat as new president for the first time in 22 years. The former president was an autocrat and notorious human rights abuser who lost his grip on power when the Gambian political opposition coalesced and mobilized around a reformer named Adama Barrow in his run for president. After a standoff with the outgoing President that included international troops threatening military action, President Barrow took office in late February.
Shortly after Barrow took office, Kria began working with a partner non-governmental organization (NGO) to assist the new government with the huge job of taking over a national government that had been mismanaged for the previous two decades.
Think about what it does to a country's future when its best-educated and brightest citizens are imprisoned or forced into exile. There was no "government in waiting," no infrastructure in place for a smooth transition.
Kria’s role is to help the executive office and Cabinet in Banjul manage that transition, particularly in the area of communications and messaging. We provide training, advise on best practices, and support the government in expanding its communications and social media capacity.
After our initial visit in April, Kria returned to Banjul in May to provide additional training and assistance to the team. In November 2017, we returned to Banjul to do a series of media trainings with key Cabinet ministers and senior government officials.
Kria's ongoing engagement with democratic governments in Africa reflects our commitment to sharing what we've learned from both our domestic and international experiences. At a time when we believe America's image has taken a serious hit overseas, we are even more committed to collaborating, sharing, and learning from democracies that may be younger than ours but have a few things to teach us.