BANJUL - Gambia has started a four-day week for public sector workers, with Fridays now an extra day off, reported BBC on Friday. President Yahya Jammeh has said the shorter week will give The Gambia’s mainly Muslim population more time to pray, socialise and tend to fields. “This new arrangement will allow Gambians to devote more time to prayers, social activities and agriculture,” said Yahya Jammeh, Gambian president. Jammeh, who took power in a bloodless coup in 1994, is known for his eccentric behaviour. Critics say his latest decision will promote laziness and disrupt the poor West African state’s economy.

Agriculture, especially peanut exports, forms the backbone of The Gambia’s economy. It is also a popular tourist destination, because of its beaches. Thursdays and Fridays or Fridays and Saturdays are non-working days in most of the Muslim world but some say this disrupts work with Western countries, who have Saturdays and Sundays off. In a statement last month, Mr Jammeh’s office said that from 1 February, the working times in the public sector would be Mondays to Thursdays from 08:00 to 18:00.