Isatou Njie-Saidy

Isatou Njie-Saidy

Isatou Njie-Saidy in 2006
Vice President of the Gambia
Assumed office
20 March 1997
President Yahya Jammeh
Preceded by Vacant
Succeeded by TBD
Secretary of State for Women's Affairs
Assumed office
20 March 1997
Personal details
Born (1952-03-05) 5 March 1952
Kuntaya, North Bank Division, Gambia
Political party APRC
Religion Islam[1][2]

Isatou Njie-Saidy (also spelt Aisatu N'Jie-Saidy) (born 5 March 1952) is a Gambian politician. She has been Vice President of the Gambia, as well as Secretary of State for Women's Affairs, since 20 March 1997. She is the first Gambian woman to hold the position of Vice President and one of the first women in West African politics to reach this senior position.[3]

Early life and education

Njie-Saidy was born in Kuntaya, North Bank Division. From 1959 to 1964, she attended Brikama Primary School, and from 1964 and 1970, she attended Armitage High School, Georgetown. In 1971, she attended Yundum Teacher Training College, where she qualified as a teacher in 1974. From July 1979 to December 1979, she studied as the Research Institute for Management Science, RVB, Delft, The Netherlands, where she was awarded a post-graduate diploma in industrial management. From September to November 1981, she studied at the University of the Philippines, where she obtained a certificate in small-scale industrial information management. In September 1988, she completed an MSc in social and economic development at the University of Swansea.[3]

Political career

From September 1983 to December 1989, Njie-Saidy was Deputy Executive Secretary of the Women's Bureau, the executive decision-making body of the National Women's Council. Two years after the 1994 Gambian coup d'état in which Yahya Jammeh seized power, in July 1996 Njie-Saidy was appointed as Minister of Health, Social Welfare and Women's Affairs. On 20 March 1997, a few months after the 1996 presidential election in which Jammeh was victorious, Njie-Saidy was appointed as Vice-President of the Gambia and Secretary of State for Health, Social Welfare and Women's Affairs.[3]

She has spoken and written extensively about women's issues in the Gambia.[4][5]

In December 2015, there were reports that Njie-Saidy's relationship with Jammeh was becoming strained. According to Freedom Newspaper, a close aide of Jammeh reported that "Jammeh has intimated to them that he doesn’t want to see Isatou Njie Saidy. He branded Isatou as a “bad person” who contributed towards his government’s failure. Jammeh told his aides that he is going to replace Isatou Njie Saidy."[6]

Personal life

Njie-Saidy is married and has four children. She also speaks several languages, namely: English, French, Fula, Wollof and Mandinka.[3]


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