In a major cabinet reshuffle on 15 March, President of The Gambia, Adama Barrow, appointed IDS alum, Isatou Touray, as Vice President.
Touray, who replaces Ousainou Darboe, is a politician, activist, and social reformer. A noted campaigner against female genital mutilation (FGM), she became the first female Gambian presidential candidate in 2016, before dropping out to endorse Adama Barrow and Coalition 2016. She then served in Barrow’s cabinet as Minister of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment from 2017, and then as Minister of Health and Social Welfare from 2018. She is expected to continue to oversee the health ministry while serving as Vice President.
Touray completed a PhD by Research in development studies at the Institute of Development Studies in 2004. Her supervisor at the time was Professor Melissa Leach. Touray’s PhD focused on gender and environment in The Gambia and related detailed fieldwork to topical policy issues.
IDS Director, Melissa Leach said:
“Isatou Touray has already made a tremendous contribution to social transformations that give both women and men equal opportunities. Her appointment as Vice President is testament to her long-standing commitment to promoting democracy and human rights in The Gambia and beyond. I don’t doubt that her legacy will be remembered in the future.”
Isatou Touray said:
“IDS creates leaders and shapes the world development agenda. IDS has contributed to what I am today and I am proud to be a product of this great and reputable institution.”
Touray is among many IDS graduates who have gone into politics to effect positive change.