Gambia eyes Commonwealth SG

Gambia eyes Commonwealth SG

The Gambia’s minister for Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad, Hon. Dr Mamadou Tangara, is vying for the position of Secretary General (SG) at the Commonwealth, sources familiar with the matter informed The Point.
The Secretary General is nominated by Commonwealth leaders and can serve a maximum of two terms of four years each.

Hon. Tangara, if elected, will succeed Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC – the 6th Commonwealth Secretary-General and will be the second African to hold that post after Chief Emeka Anyaoku of Nigeria, who served between 1990 and 2000.

Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC was born in Dominica and was their candidate for the post at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Malta in 2015. She is the second Secretary-General from the Caribbean and the first woman to hold the post.

The Gambia government would need the support of other commonwealth countries including Nigeria to get Hon. Minister Tangara elected for the post.


H.E. Dr Mamadou Tangara is the Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad of the Republic of The Gambia. He was appointed Minister in 2018, a position he previously held from 2010 to 2012.A consummate diplomat, Dr Tangara also served as a distinguished member of the Gambian Foreign Service, in his capacity as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of The Gambia to the United Nations in New York. He is reputed for the crucial role played in getting The Gambia back to the comity of nations as PR and as Foreign Minister from 2017 to date. He also served asMinister of Higher Education, Research Science and Technology.

Executive Board/Chairmanship positions

Throughout his career, Dr Tangara represented The Gambia in various Executive Boards of the United Nations and other International Organisations. In January 2022, he was appointed to the Advisory Board of United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) – Division for Multilateral Diplomacy, a two-year term from January 2022 to December 2024.

He has also served as Executive Board Member of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO); the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and UN Women;

Dr Tangara has chaired on numerous occasions the African Group at the United Nations in New York. He presided over the memorial meeting for the late Nelson Mandela.

Dr Tangara served as Chairman, University of The Gambia Governing Council; President of Alliance Franco-Gambienne and Honourary Ambassador of the Brabant Wallon Region (Belgium). He is also an eminent member of the Diplomatic Foundation of the Kingdom of Morocco.

Dr Tangara is a member of Board of trustees at the Qatari Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption Centre (ROLACC) in Doha.

Professional positions                 

Dr Tangara has had an extensive professional career, and prior to his high-level appointments, he served as Coordinator, National Authorising Office Support Unit (NAOSU) for the European Development Fund (EDF) projects and programmes implemented in The Gambia. He also consulted for the United Nations Fund for Population Affairs (UNFPA) and other International Organisations.

Dr Tangara was also Focal Person for Unesco Science and Technology and Innovation in The Gambia and served as Governor for Africa Capacity Building Foundation. His professional career in academia includes International Examiner and Researcher. He is also an interpreter, trained journalist, a demographer, lecturer, etc.

Dr Tangara delivers lectures at world-class Universities and higher citadels of learning and these include Universities of Oklahoma, State University of New York and John J. College in New York, India’s Council of World Affairs, the US State Council on Foreign Relations, etc.

Educational background

H.E. Dr Mamadou Tangara holds a Doctorate degree (PhD) from Université de Limoges, France. His research on the myths and secret of oral historians of the Manding received Mention Très Honorable avec Félicitationsa l’unanimité du Jury from the Universite de Limoges. He holds two Master’s degrees in Comparative Literature and Demography. He worked at The Point newspaper and he was also Editor-in-Chief of the French Magazine, La Lune.

As a true Pan Africanist, Dr Tangara was made member of the Steering Committee of World Festival of Black Arts, Dakar 2009. He has written extensively on Semiology of Cultural Interaction, Literature and Conflict Resolution, and African Writers and their Cultural Heritage.

Dr Tangara was in 2009 a fellow for Mo Ibrahim Fellowship programme in Governance for Development in Africa.

Dr Tangara attended Several conferences, research seminars and study tours in London (SOAS, Commonwealth Institute), Paris (INALCO, BNF), Bordeaux (Université Victor Segalen), Aix-en- Provence (Archives d’Outre-mer), Amiens (Université de Picardie), Chambery (ISOLA Conference), Leiden University (Holland), Bayreuth University (Germany), Université de Ouagadougou, IFAN-UCAD, Tamanrasset (Algeria), INEP (Guinea-Bissau), Kela, Kangaba, Barazan (Mali), RDD (The Gambia), Peacebuilding Commission (New York – USA, Seoul – Republic of Korea and Addis Ababa – Ethiopia). He also led the Gambian Delegations to the UNGA, AU and ECOWAS Summits, UNESCO Conferences and several other international meetings.


Dr Tangara is a multilinguist, fluent in English, French, Spanish, Mandinka, Wolof, Bambara, Dioula, Krio, etc. This made him effective and responsible in a multi-cultural world as well as in various academic and journalistic positions.


Dr Tangara is the laureate of the most prestigious Award of the United Nations, the UNFPA 2019 United Nations Population Award, (Individual Category). He was awarded at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 20 June 2019 in recognition of his courage and leadership through the use of diplomacy both in the global and national arena respectively.

Dr Tangara was conferred the Insignia of Member of the National Order of the Republic of The Gambia (MRG). He is a recipient of Medallion of Limousin Region and the city of Bellac in France in recognition of his humanitarian work.

Dr Tangara was conferred prestigious accolades both within and outside The Gambia in recognition of his tremendous hard work and commitment to human development.   

Source: The Point

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