On the 18th February 1965 the flag of the United Kingdom and colonies was lowered and was followed by the red-white-blue-white-green flag hoisted to mark the beginning of nationhood.
Fifty six years elapsed since that day, but the nation we sought to build is still on its foundation. Some would disagree. They would claim that the improbable nation is already built.
Let us interrogate the issue of nationhood. Could there be a nation without a people? The answer is in the negative. A nation is one because of her people. Without a people with a sense of shared destiny one cannot have a nation. It is however important to note that in the Gambia, many people are yet to put their sense of nationhood above their ethno-linguistic origin or other identities. They have no sense of belonging to the Gambian people.
Secondly a nation has to have the ability to carry its own weight in the world. Since 1965 The Gambia has been dependent on loans and grants for most of its development activities. Billions went abroad for the repayment of loans while the development projects have now witnessed deterioration and are waiting for new grants and loans to be rehabilitated.
The foundation for self -reliant development has not been put in place. We are human beings with brains. We can be the builders of a promising nation tomorrow if we put aside the mindset that bars us from promoting a sense of nationhood which requires all hands to be put on deck to build a country that is fit for us to call our homeland.