It’s an unarguable fact that Mrs. Fatoumatta Tambajang has rarely done anything for self, from her marriage to her husband at the age of 16 and the birth of her children triggering the mother instinct in her as a teen, she has lived for others since then.
One of the recent incident that has reinforced the depth of her passion for Africa was exemplified during the 2nd edition of the African Elders and Women Intercultural Dialogue, held at the National Center for Women Development in Abuja Nigeria in which she received the invitation to present a paper and co chair the 2nd African Women Intercultural Dialogue.
The organizers faced with challenges of sponsorship informed her at the last minute ,that what they could procure for her was an economy class, she felt the tug at her heart on the need to lend her influential voice and make a difference to the most inhumane scourge rampaging Africa and the world at large.
Having accepted earlier to participate, and having prepared a very informative paper to present at the event, she told the organisers not to worry, that as a mother, what is of grave concern to her, is how to give her voice and accelerate actions to ensure that children of Africa re learns a new means of protecting themselves, and avoid becoming victim of the incessant ring of traffickers and migrant smuggling.
Then Its unfathomable to the organisers, that a woman of her status could embark on a trip to Nigeria to chair an event that she wasn’t to be paid for, at the expense of her personal comfort which she proved them and thus amplified her passion for repositioning Africa’s place in global discourse with she told them requires any little effort from every one of us as Africans.
This one act of sacrifice from her indeed , multiplied the collective goodness of the African youths that attended the dialogue in 2018, her presence at the event which was attended by diplomats, non profit organizations, primary and secondary school students, inspired the maiden steps towards setting up Africans Against Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling (AATSOM) a multi sectoral coalition of civic societies, cultural leaders and other stakeholders relevant in the fight against trafficking to totally eliminate trafficking in the African continent.
An origin of the town of Brikama, Fatoumata Jallow-Tambang went to Armitage High School, proceeded to the University of Dakar in Senegal and earned her matriculation from the University of Nice, in France. Fluent in both English and French, Jallow-Tambajang later pursued graduate studies at Bradford University, in the United Kingdom.
As a career technocrat, she clocked decades of experience working with the United Nations Development Programme for 22 years serving in Liberia and other nations. While at the UNDP she distinguished herself as a dedicated advocate for the cause of women who are generally disadvantaged in The Gambia’s male-dominated society.
Tambajang was an advisor to Dawda Jawara, the first President of the Gambia, on women’s issues and children’s affairs. She chaired the Gambia National Women’s Council and represented it in the Gambia National Economic and Social Council for six years.
Tambajang served as the Secretary of State for Health and Social Welfare from 1994 to 1995 in the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council cabinet. She was one of two female ministers in the cabinet, alongside Susan Waffa-Ogoo. She addressed the International Conference on Population and Development in September 1994 on behalf of the Gambia.
During her time of work for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) she spent 5 years in war-torn Mano River. In 2001, whilst working in the African Great Lakes, she was the victim of a rebel hostage situation.
Undeterred in the face of challenges, she became the architect of ‘Coalition 2016’, bringing together eight political parties to uproot Gambia’s 22-year dictatorship ,which enhanced her position as one of the most influential and respected women in Africa. She later served as the Vice President of Gambia in 2017.
Her emergence as the African Union Vice Chairperson will make a whole lot of difference because of the wealth of her experience and her passion driven work ethics means Africa needs no one else and can hardly find anyone who will give more than she has to offer.
Mrs. Tambajang has remained consistent to her life’s call of being in service to the people of the continent that she deeply loves.