By Yankuba Manneh
The Gambia Ports Authority Board of Directors has appointed the first ever female Deputy Managing Director (DMD) since 1972.
Naffi Macdouall’s official appointment dated 25th June, 2021 came six months after the statutory retirement of former DMD Alhagi Cherno Ceesay.
At the time of her elevation to DMD, Macdouall was the longest serving director of the authority with more than three decades of work experience in the port industry. Prior to becoming a full-fledged Director Corporate Services and Business Development in 2008, she has served several positions at GPA, including Marketing and Planning Officer, Corporate Services Manager and Senior Manager Corporate Services.
Naffi has a good academic pedigree and an impeccable moral standing that endear her to her colleagues. She is a holder of an MBA from Cardiff University, UK. She also obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Ports and Shipping Management from the University of Hull, UK and other professional qualifications. Her wealth of knowledge and experience is quite overwhelming, as she traversed the globe and interacted with different experts on Ports management and development.
When contacted on how she feels being the first appointed female DMD, Macdouall said she was glad to be considered for the position, saying it all speaks to the profound degree of trust and confidence the Board and the GPA Management bestowed on her. She however prided herself for the breakthrough in a predominantly male-dominated institution.
“I am elated, confident and excited that I have set the pace for my female colleagues by closing the gender gap. The wisdom and qualities of leadership are not exclusively a male preserve; women too count and rather excel well in the realm of leadership,” Naffi stated as she inspires female staff of the Authority.
She continued further to enjoin female staff of public institutions to remain focused, determined and committed to the execution of tasks assigned to them for realization of their institutional goals. She contested that success does not come in cheap; it takes hard work and sacrifice to be successful in life.
“Success is not just about capital but about creating a positive impact. As women we have emotional side to lead our everyday decisions and I believe that is why we are able to lead with a beautiful nuanced power in today’s business world. Let’s support each other as women and inspire each other to build each other’s strengths,” she concluded with optimism.