Belinda Bidwell

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Nyimasata Sanneh-Bojang
Speaker of National Assembly
In office
March 2006 – January 2007
Personal details
Born 22 April 1936
Died 28 April 2007
Nationality The Gambia
Political party Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction
Religion Christianity

Belinda Bidwell (22 April 1936 – 28 April 2007) was the first female Speaker of the National Assembly of The Gambia. In 2002, Bidwell, who was previously a teacher, was nominated to serve in the National Assembly, and she became deputy speaker. In April 2006, following an attempted coup d'etat in March, Speaker Sheriff Mustapha Dibba was arrested and removed from his position for alleged involvement, and Bidwell became speaker.

Bidwell died of a heart attack in April 2007. She was survived by her husband James Ndow, three sons and two daughters.

Early life[edit]

Bidwell was the second daughter of Gabriel and Julian Faal Faal Matilde, born on 22 April 1936. Her sister and father were politically active in Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction party. She had her primary education at Saint Joseph Convent, collegiate education at Gambia College and graduation at the University of Oxford in the UK. After completing education, she served as a teacher at St. Joseph Convent, St. Augustine Junior Secondary School and Gambia College.[1] She had various degrees in Mathematics and environment protection from University of Chicago, US, University of Reading in the UK and at other universities in Australia, the Soviet Union and Germany. She was married to James Ndow and the pair had three sons and two daughters.[2]

Political life[edit]

Bidwell was nominated to serve in the National Assembly in 2002 by Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction, and she went on to become the deputy speaker. In April 2006, following an attempted coup d'etat in March, Speaker Sheriff Mustapha Dibba was arrested and removed from his position for alleged involvement, and Bidwell became speaker.[3] Fatoumatta Jahumpa Ceesay replaced Bidwell as speaker in February 2007,[4][5] Bidwell died of a heart attack in April 2007.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Former Speaker Belinda Bidwell Passes Away". Africa gm. 2 May 2007. Retrieved 26 November 2016. 
  2. ^ "Chairwoman Parliament 2001-2010". Retrieved 26 November 2016. 
  3. ^ "Gambian parliament gets new speaker", AngolaPress, April 20, 2006.
  4. ^ "Gambia: Fatoumatta Jahumpa-Ceesay is New Speaker of National Assembly", Progressive Africans (allafrica.com), February 5, 2007.
  5. ^ Alhagie Jobe, "Gambia: 53 NAMs Sworn-in", The Daily Observer (allafrica.com), February 9, 2007.