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Sweat is Invisible in the Rain: A Conference on Culture, Politics and 
Contemporary Issues in The Gambia

December 14 and 15, 2019

Paradise Suites Hotel

3 Paradise Beach Place

Off Bertil Harding Highway (Kololi)

Banjul, The Gambia, 


             The Pan-African University Press, in collaboration with The Chronicle, announces a conference titled, Sweat is Invisible in the Rain. The conference borrows the title of Cherno Njie's trailblazing memoir — the first book to examine the long, brutal, authoritarian, and anti-development government under the leadership of Yahya Jammeh— to capture the emerging social landscape of The Gambian society and its politics of the last half-century.

The book, Sweat is Invisible in the Rain,written by Cherno M. Njie and published by the Pan-African University Press, is better classified as a documentation of three interconnected stages of the author's life, career, vision, and ambition. Such is the importance of the book that this major conference is being convened on it in The Gambia on December 14th, 2019. I am glad to be associated with the book, proud to occupy a line or two in the contents, and humbled to be associated with the author.

The book successfully privileges the historical and the factual over the literary. It deals with causation using a wide range of facts, explaining why events and actions occurred at particular moments in time. The principal figures and protagonists are revealed in ways that reflect their time, age and day. Sweat is Invisible in the Rainwill surely assert itself as a book to read and be reckoned with, as it captures the commonalities of personal experiences in The Gambia, the shortcomings of the country's political elite, the intriguing nature of dictatorship, and a wide range of dialogues on the degeneracy of political institutions. The antipathy that the leadership of the country aroused is captured with brilliance, as well as the responses to how to deal with unpopular power. I admire Njie's voice and courage as he narrates the sickness of leadership, the weakness of followership, the limitations of state power, and the repetitiveness of calamitous history. Sweat is Invisible in the Rain allows the work to represent its author, and to speak to a tumultuous moment in the history of The Gambia. The book offers the fullest story of Njie's life, in addition to a remarkable understanding of his mother country in both its volatile and remarkable moments. 

This highly readable and valuable memoir is one of the best to come out of West Africa. I admire his ability to tell the story so well and clearly. I can only hope that the people of The Gambia will get the justice they seek and deserve, and the progress that they dream about.


Social Event

December 13, in the hotel


Conference Panel Presentations. 9am- 1PM  

Venue: Paradise Suites Hotel

Panel  1, 9-10 AM  Roundtable on Sweat is Invisible in the Rain

Chair: Professor Assan Sarr

Professor Femi Mimiko, former Vice-Chancellor, Adekunle Ajasin University

Professor Amidu Sanni, Vice-Chancellor, Fountain University, Nigeria

Professor Kwabena Akurang-Parry, University of Ghana

Dr. Olajumoke Yacob-Haliso, Dean, School of Social Sciences, Babcock University, Nigeria

Discussant/ Rappoteur: Professor Gloria Emeagwali

Panel  2, 10:15 to 11:15 Gambia: Past and Present

Chair: Professor Amadu J. Kaba 

The Euphoria of Post-Jammeh Gambia: Myth or Reality?

Professor Ademola Ajayi

The Gambia NYSS Partnership with International Organization for Migration (IOM): Lessons for Nigeria’s NYSC Scheme in the Twenty first Century 

Dr. Godwin Odeh

The Great Gambia Airlift, 1961: Gambian Youth and Nkrumah’s Pan African Project

Hassoum Ceesay

Land Disputes and Ethnic Polarization in The Gambia: The Post-Jammeh Era

Professor Assan Sarr  

From Dictatorship to the Quest for Democracy and National Unity: issues, Prospects, Challenges and the Search for a New Gambia and Gambians Since 2016 

Malang Fanneh

'Globalization’, International Aid and Education in the Developing World: A Study of Education Policy Making in The Gambia

Samba Bah

Background to the post-independence coups in Ghana and the Gambia

Kwame Adum-Kyeremeh 

Discussant and Rapporteur: Professor Femi Mimiko

Coffee Break 11:15 to 11:30

Panel 3, 11: 30-12.30 Africa in Transition

Chair: Hassoum Ceesay, Director General, National Center for Arts and Culture, Gambia

Sierra Leone: The Historical Cultural Hub of Pan-Africanism

Professor Amadu. J. Kaba 

Democracy and governance in post-authoritarian Nigeria: Interrogating the context and issues

Dr. Afolabi Arogundae


Professor Armstrong Matiu Adejo

 Nigeria's Economy Under Military Dispensations, 1966-1979: An Historical Perspective 

Dr. Gboyega Ajayi and Benjamin Pelumi

Military and Political Intersections in Nigeria: Influence Dynamics in Civilian-Military Relatons  

Dr. Gboyega Ajayi

The Intersection of Civil Service and Anti-corruption Architecture in African Emerging Democracies: Historicising the Nigerian Example since 1999.

Okajare Solomon Tai

African Culture and the Price of Trust

Dr. Babs Sobanjo, 

AIK and oral tradition

Professor Gloria Emeagwali

Discussant and Rapporteur: Professor Amidu Sanni


2-6 PM

Book Launch - 2:00 PM - 6:00 PM 

2:00 - Guest Arrival 

2:30 - Opening & Welcome Remarks 

2:45 - Keynote Address 

3:30 - Conference Panel Presentation: Professors Gloria, Femi Mimiko and Amidu Sanni

 4:00 - Cultural Performance 

4:30 - Closing Remarks 

4:45 - Author’s Statement 

5:00 - Book Signing 

Photo opportunities 

Entertainment & Refreshments

PART C, December 15, TOURISM

Participants gather at the hotel for pick up

Conference Ends


Conference Organizer: Toyin Falola, The University of Texas at Austin