VENTURES AFRICA – Public officials in the Gambia will enjoy a four-day working week going forward, pursuant to a presidential edict.
President Yahya Jammeh announced that as of February 1st, public officials will work four days per week in order to allow sufficient time for religious and agricultural activities.
The new working week will span from 8 am on Mondays until 6pm on Thursdays, leaving Friday as a day of rest.
“This new arrangement will allow Gambians to devote more time to prayers, social activities and agriculture – going back to the land to grow what we eat and eat what we grow for a healthy and wealthy nation,” the President announced in a statement.
Jammeh – who has been the president of the Gambia since he took power through a military coup in 1994 – has been a controversial ruler to date, taking an individual approach to various aspects of the country’s ruling and livelihood.
He has maintained the country as a secular state, despite hosting a population that is by far of a Muslim majority, in order to keep the country open for various forms of trade.
The president has pushed the country as a favourite destination for European – and worldwide – holiday travellers, promoting the tourism industry; with the country receiving 91,000 visitors per year at the last count contained in a report by the World Bank in 2012.
In 2007, Jammeh declared to the world that a herbal remedy had been found allowing a cure of HIV-AIDS, which gave rise to wide-spread concern in the international community that the president may be hampering medicine and the health-care system and industry by promoting false solutions to serious illness.