Infomail 1/17

Dear Baluo-Member,
Esteemed Philantropist and Well-wishers

Much has been done and had happened since the last newsletter – not in the bakery, but more so in the surrounding area. We are looking forward to inform you about the latest developments in Gambia and Baluo.

Government change in Gambia

The unimaginable until recently has happened: Gambia has a new president! Previously, however, there were still some nerve-racking days for the Gambians. After Yahya Jammeh, who had been ruling for 22 years, had first surreptitiously acknowledged his defeat after the election in December, he crashed only a week later and was not willing to surrender the power to his chosen successor, Adama Barrow. It took the united pressure of the international community, as well as a military invasion of Senegal, to ultimately force him into exile. We are very glad that this critical situation could finally be solved peacefully. The West African community in particular, ECOWAS, strongly supported the change of power. This decisive and ultimately successful commitment to the observance of the democratic rules of the game is very positive for the region.
For Gambia the departure of the autocratically and arbitrarily governing Jammeh is a great opportunity and the population accordingly places much hope in the new government. Foday was in Gambia for a week between Christmas and New Year and has a great break-up mood. We are confident that the framework conditions in Gambia will now develop positively and look forward to taking this new impetus into our project!

Some impressions on the government change can be seen hier .

Semester work FHNW

Five students of the “Energy and Environmental Engineering” course at the Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz (FHNW) started their semester work on February 16th. They will analyse the energy situation of the bakery and work out different optimization options. Foday and I met the students and their instructors as part of a kick-off and gave them an introduction to the situation of the bakery and the Gambia. Now the students are working intensively and we are very excited about the results which they will present to us in the middle of June.

Annual General Meeting 2017

As described above, various scenarios are currently being worked out at the FHNW as the bakery could again produce profitably. Except the energy situation in the Gambia changes significantly in the next weeks, we will wait for the results of this work. On the basis of these we would like to decide about the further orientation of the bakery – but not alone, but together with you! We decided to hold this year’s Annual General Meeting only after the end of the semester on Saturday, July 1st. Then we will introduce you the results of the semester work and we can together determine the further strategy regarding bakery.

The invitation to the General Meeting will be made at a later date. Please reserve the afternoon of the 1st of July. We would be very happy, if as many members as possible attend the general meeting!

We will send you an e-mail for the 2016 financial report, including the annual report. Feedback is welcome. The official acceptance must then take place at the General Meeting. We will still send the annual report 2016 as usual in the spring, even if still with a provisional conclusion.