Colonel Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh was born on 25th May 1965, in Kanilai village, Foni Kansala District in the Western Division of The Gambia.
He was educated at Kanilai Primary School, Saint Edwards Primary School Bwiam, and Gambia High School. He joined what was then the Ga mbia National Gendarmerie in 1984 and later transferred to The Gambia National Army and was commissioned in 1989. He attended the Military Police Officers Basic Course (MPOBC) at For McClellan, Alabama, in the United States of America and obtained a Diploma in Military science, in 1994.
President Jammeh served under various units in The Gambia National Army. From 1984-1986 he was in the Special Intervention Unit, 1986-1989 the Gendarmerie Training School (Escort Training Instructor); 1989-1990 Presidential Guards (in charge of Presidential Escort); 1991 served as Officer commanding in the Mobile Gendarmerie and in 1992 was Officer Command The Gambia National Army Military Police, up till 22nd July 1994 when the Gambia National Army toppled Sir Dawda Jawara and his PPP administration in a bloodless coup.
In 1990, during the Summit of the Economic Community of West African States held in The Gambia, President Jammeh was given a special assignment as Special Security Officer for the visiting heads of State attending the ECOWAS Summit. During the Papal visit to The Gambia in 1992, Lieutenant Jammeh was made officer in charge responsible for the security of Pope John Paul II; he was also officer in charge of VIP Security at State House functions (including visiting Heads of State). At the time the Jawara regime was toppled, President Jammeh was a Lieutenant. In 1994, President Jammeh was promoted to the rank of Captain and in 1996 he was promoted to the rank of Colonel. President Jammeh retired from the army in 1996. President Jammeh saw Gambia through the two years transitional period leading to the restoration of Constitutional and Civilian Government. In 1996 the APRC Party and the majority of Gambians elected Col. Yahyah A.J.J. Jammeh as the Chief Executive of the Second Republic on September 27th, 1996. President Jammeh at the tender age of 30 years is the world's youngest President.
Title and Decorations
- In 1993, President Jammeh (then a student offer on an approved course of study in the State of Georgia, USA) was made an Honorary Citizen of the State of Georgia.
- In 1994, whilst still in the Army, President Jammeh was appointed honorary Lt. Col. ADC of the Alabama State Militia.
- In 1995, President Jammeh was decorated by the Libyan Leader, Col. Muammar Gadaffi. He was decorated with Libya's highest insignia, the Grand Commander of the Order of Al-Fatah.
- In 1996, President Jammeh, during a state visit to the Republic of China, Taiwan, was decorated by the Chinese President with the insignia of the Order of the Brilliant Jade with Grand Cordon of the Republic of China.
- 1997, during the 12th Conference of Heads of State and Government of CILSS held in Banjul, The Gambia, President Jammeh was elected Chairman, CILSS Heads of State.
- President Jammeh was also awarded "The 1997 Pan-African Humanitarian Award" by the Pan-African Foundation and the World Council of Culture based in London, UK.
- President Jammeh is happily married to Mrs. Tuti Faal-Jammeh.
Hobbies and Other Interests
President Jammeh is a man of the people and enjoys meeting people from all walks from life. He enjoys reading, playing tennis, soccer, driving, hunting, riding motor-bikes, watching movies, listening to music, and is a keen lover of animals.