In an interview granted to the Gambia Radio and Television Services last June, Yaya Jammeh announced that he will ban importation of rice effective January 1, 2015.
According to the Gambian dictator, the ban is in accordance to his Vision 2016 which calls for rice self-sufficiency in The Gambia by 2016, a country whose rice import bill is estimated to be in the region of $50 million annually.
During the interview, Jammeh warned rice importers that consignments will not be allowed to enter the country even if they place their orders well before the 31 December, 2014 deadline, arbitrarily set by the regime.
Importers have two weeks before the deadline which, for all intents and purposes, would be too late to have placed their orders for it to be in the country by 31 December, 2014.
January 1, 2015 is the first test of the resolve of the Jammeh dictatorship to see its Vision 2016 through to its logical conclusion.