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date: 23 April 2019

Jallow-Tambajang, Fatoumata Aja

A Dictionary of African Politics

Nicholas Cheeseman

Jallow-Tambajang, Fatoumata Aja (1949– ) 

Vice president of Gambia from 2017. Aja Fatoumata Jallow-Tambajang went to school in Gambia, Senegal, and France before acting as an adviser on women’s issues to Gambia’s first president, Dawda Jawara. Following the coup of 1994 that brought Yahya Jammeh to power, Fatoumata Jallow-Tambajang served as secretary of state for health and social welfare but later became a political activist, campaigning for social justice and human rights. During this time, she worked with a number of women’s organizations and the United Nations Development Programme. Due to her prominent role in speaking out on these issues, Fatoumata Jallow-Tambajang was invited to work with the country’s opposition parties in order to assist them to achieve a greater gender balance, and later became the chair of Coalition 2016, an alliance of groups seeking to bring an end to President Jammeh’s authoritarian rule. After the opposition won the general elections of 2016 under the leadership of Adama Barrow, Fatoumata Jallow-Tambajang was first appointed minister of women’s affairs in February 2017 and later vice president in September of the same year.