Arriving at the head of the municipality of the city of Banjul (The Gambia) in May 2018, Rohey Malick Lowe is intensely involved in actions in favor of the development of her local authority. In particular, she has made the question of gender her main battleground.
Thus, one year after the start of her mandate, she brought together the locally elected women of the country and together set up on October 5 and 6, 2019, the country chapter of the Network of Local Elected Women of Africa (REFELA – The Gambia). Her colleagues have legitimately made the choice to bring her to the head of that network.
Drawing on her career as successful entrepreneur in the tourism sector, Ms. Lowe makes a point of involving development partners in the various actions of the network. The launch of REFELA – The Gambia was carried out with the support of UNDP, and as part of the actions undertaken to fight the coronavirus, the REFELA –The Gambia network received the support of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) who donated two hundred thousand (200,000) masks to her on April 21, 2021.
Ms. Lowe and her colleagues from the REFELA-The Gambia network were perfectly in line with the three campaigns carried by the continental REFELA network for the 2019-2021 period, namely: “Campaign of African Cities without Children in Street Situation”, “Campaign of African Cities with Zero Tolerance in the face of violence against Women”, and the “Campaign for African Cities for the Economic Empowerment of Women ”. The REFELA-The Gambia chapter has initiated awareness-raising actions supported by two videos in the local language (Wolof) in favor of the first 2 campaigns to reach grassroots populations. (See the video of REFELA-The Gambia on the Campaign for African cities without children in street situations, See the video of REFELA-The Gambia on The Campaign of African Cities with Zero Tolerance in the Face of Violence Against Women and Girls, and see Ms. Rohey Malick Lowe’s video calling on women to take their place in local governance).
Being the first woman elected mayor of Banjul, the capital of The Gambia, Rohey Malick Lowe is also active internationally and is the voice of the continent’s elected officials on key themes like climate resilience, the urbanization and mobility. In October 2020, she was notably elected president of the African Capital Cities Sustainability Forum (ACCSF). She held that position for the three following years. With her municipal team, various projects were initiated, including: the construction of
the Banjul Youth Center of Excellence (2019), and “Greening the city center of Banjul ” (2020). This project involves planting trees to beautify the urban landscape, mitigate the adverse effects of climate change, and prevent coastal erosion and desertification.
Caring for the cause of women at different levels, Ms. Lowe on April 10 supported the Constitutional Amendment Bill of 2021, which proposes to reserve 16 seats for women in the National Assembly of The Gambia. The bill has been validated by the civil society platform for gender equality and other stakeholders. Ms. Lowe as a local councilor was part of the initiative. The proposed bill aims to increase the total number of MPs in the National Assembly from 58 to 71, and to reserve 16 seats for women. This means that at least 22% of the Parliament of The Gambia will be made up of women. If the bill is adopted in its current form, it provides for the following;
-53 elected deputies, unchanged from current legislation,
-14 additional seats reserved for women, two elected in each administrative area,
-Two additional members elected by the association of disabled people, one of whom is a woman.
-Two members appointed by the President of The Gambia, at least one of whom must be a woman.
The number of members appointed by the president will thus increase from five to two.
Being the daughter of the former mayor of Banjul, Alhagie Malick Lowe (1981-1983), Rohey Malick Lowe began her career as a hotel receptionist before goin into business and then studying international relations in Sweden. She also had the opportunity to sit on the Child Welfare Committee of the Nyköping Municipality, responsible for supervising schools. She speaks English, Swedish, Mandinka, and Wolof.