Yaya Barjo, the Senior Health Economist, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare,

The aim of this column is to bring you the profiles of the giants in today’s Gambia and as a result, in this week’s edition we profile Yaya Barjo, the Senior Health Economist, at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, (MoHSW).

There is no denying fact that in the history of any country, generations must have individuals who serve as pillars of society and of course some extraordinary men and women who provide inspiration to young, upcoming and promising nationals of the state. Such person is Yaya Barjo one that can be adjudged as belonging to the people in today’s Gambia.

It is a truism that some people were born great, some with hope in the activities they carry out in life based upon what they strive to achieve by themselves, but for Yaya Barjo, he is young man per excellence, he has achieved greatness so far in life by his crusade to offer selfless service to his nation.

Yaya Barjo is a young promising man whose vision and mission for The Gambia makes him stand aloof as a proud citizen of this country thus contributing to its socio-economic development.

His admirable and quality of his work is exceptional. He is an imaginative and innovative character who always likes to try new things.

Who is Yaya Barjo?

Yaya Barjo was born in the North Bank Region settlement of Gunjur in the Lower Baddibou District in the early eighties. As a young man, Yaya had   commitment and respect for his work which has elevated him to the position he finds himself today. He is a role model within his work place and within the community he is currently staying. This gave Mr.Yaya Barjo the opportunity to excel through the position of the Senior Economist at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MoHSW). His work career at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare exposed him to many overseas training programmes. At the local level he went through a series of on the job training programs that made him excel at his work.


As a young boy who grew up in a typical marabout village, Yaya Barjo was first enrolled in the traditional Arabic learning center locally referred to as “Karantaa” where he learned the basic tenets of Islam as required of any practicing Muslim. After attaining the age of ten, Yaya was sent to the conventional school at Saaba Lower Basic School thus marking the beginning of his conventional educational career from 1989 to 1995. He excelled at the Lower Basic Primary School Living Certificate Examination which enabled him to transit to Junior Secondary School level. He did his Junior Secondary Education at Sukuta Lower Basic School from 1996-1998 and Senior Secondary School at Nusrat from 1998-2001 after sitting to West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examinations (WASSCE).


Mr.Barjo started his tertiary education at the School for Enrolled Community Health Nurses (CHN) where he bagged a Certificate in Community Nursing (CCN). He worked for a few years as a general nurse before enrolling at the University of The Gambia (UTG) from 2006 to 2010 where he pursued a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Public and Environmental Health.


Following his graduation from the University of The Gambia, Yaya Barjo worked for World Food Program (WFP) as a Field Monitor Assistant on contract before rejoining the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare as a Health Economist from 2012-2013.

In 2015, Yaya Barjo obtained a Master’s Degree in Public Sector Management (PSM) at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA).He is currently a Senior Health Economist at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare where his responsibilities include amongst others, health policy formulation and analysis, resource mobilization for the health sector, investment analysis for the health sector and health sector budget preparation.


His quest for higher education motivated him to pursue professional courses in health financing. He is a fellow of World Health Organization Advanced Course (WHOA) in Health Financing for low and middle income countries which were held in Barcelona, Spain in 2016. He is also a Harvard Fellow on Value-Based for Health Care Delivery in Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts, USA in 2018. Yaya is the classic definition of “disability which he said is not inability”. He has overcome great challenges that people with disability hardly overcome in Third World Countries like the Gambia.


YayaBarjo is studious and academically sound whose hard work and ambition earned him great admiration from both his colleagues and professors and his study program included research methodology with experiences in surveys and other field work. He possesses the attributes for graduate work, research orientation and enthusiasm. Yaya also profits from the qualities of leadership, commitment and determination and has a proven track record for being a team player and exemplified a strong sense of integrity and moral balance. During Yaya Barjo’s time at the University of The Gambia (UTG) from 2006 to 2010, he played an active role in Students’ Associations such as the Economics and Management Students’ Association (ECOMANSA), a Students’ Association formed to promote students’ welfare and community service.


He has always been regular and possesses self-motivated characteristics which help him to forge excellent relationships with his colleagues and supervisors and he could be relied on to work on his own and achieve results. He has proved himself to be willing and co-operative and has a great sense of responsibility.

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