This Week in Politics: December 15, 2018 (Hot FM Gambia)

Hot FM Gambia heads to Washington, DC as Jeffrey Smith, who helped highlight the plight of Gambia's dictatorship at the highest levels of the US administration, tells us what he thinks of the Barrow government after two years.

Still Reeling from the Jammeh Years, Gambia Begins its Journey to Justice (World Politics Review – November 27)

Jeffrey Smith, director of Vanguard Africa, the Washington-based organization that advised Barrow’s coalition during the transition, agrees that the government has made a series of missteps. “People with which Barrow surrounded himself at the beginning had really good intentions, but the lack of governing experience is really hampering efforts. A lot of people are really disappointed, me included,” he says. “Unfortunately, I think this is giving more power to the APRC and in many ways it’s paving the way for their eventual comeback to the political scene. That’s something I’m keeping an eye on and I’m particularly worried about.”

Cameroon’s Paul Biya Gives a Master Class in Fake Democracy (Foreign Policy – October 22)

“What really stands out in Cameroon and elsewhere is the degree that highly abusive, repressive, and, in this case, dictatorial regimes will go to, to somehow get this stamp of approval,” said Jeffrey Smith, the executive director of Vanguard Africa, a nonprofit organization focused on democracy promotion in African states.

Cameroon Election: Volatile Anglophone Regions Locked Down (Deutsche Welle – October 7)

Jeffrey Smith, the executive director of Vanguard Africa, agrees with the Douala-based cardinal priest of the Catholic Church. "Should Biya be declared the winner, Cameroon will continue on its downward trajectory, with the very real possibility of increased violence, additional human rights abuses and the same sort of brazen impunity that has long characterized Biya's oppressive rule," Smith said.

Zimbabwe’s Mnangagwa is Not Generating a Buzz at the UN General Assembly (Voice of America – September 26)

Executive Director of Vanguard Africa, Jeffrey Smith, a longtime critic of President Mugabe’s excesses, admits that his sting will be missed by those calling for UN reforms. “Despite Mugabe's nearly four-decade rule marked by corruption and widespread human rights abuses, he was often spot-on in terms of the need for reform of the United Nations, especially the Security Council, which is out of step with 21st century realities.”

Uncertainty Over Abdel Aziz’s Future Is Fueling Election Tensions in Mauritania (World Politics Review - September 6)

According to preliminary election results cited by Thiam, his senior adviser, and Vanguard Africa, the Washington-based pro-democracy organization, Abeid managed to win his parliamentary race despite the fact that he is still detained.

This Week in Politics (Hot FM 104.3 – September 1)

This week: Is the Barrow administration corrupt? The Minister of Information, Ebrima Sillah, goes to bat for the Government. Also, the Gambia Government and why it is failing on the deliverables - We hear from journalist and social activist, Mama Linguere Sarr. And the man at the international 'vanguard' that helped bring an end to 22 years of tyranny in The Gambia, Jeffrey Smith.

International Community Wakes up to Cameroon’s Spiraling Anglophone Crisis (Deutsche Welle – August 30)

"Cameroon embodies the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, that most people are unaware of," Jeffrey Smith, the executive director of Vanguard Africa told DW.

Vanguard is a nonprofit organization that partners with African leaders and democracy activists to consolidate democratic gains and advocate for free and fair elections in Africa.

Political observers believe that the arguably worsening crisis in Cameroon is largely due to the Biya regime's use of violence and brutality as a first resort.

"By immediately resorting to violence, Biya and the country's governing elite, dumped petrol on a long-smoldering fire, transforming the conflict into the runaway conflagration we see today," Smith says.