URR stakeholders sensitised on STRAP

08/25/2011 13:54


The Gambia Association of Local Government Authorities on Sunday concluded a two-day stakeholders’ consultation forum on Strengthening Transnational Partnership Network for Enhancing Participatory Local Governance Project (STRAP) held at the Basse Area Council. The three-year project is funded by EU and Basse Area Council is part of the beneficiary councils.

The project was brought to The Gambia through the efforts of the president and executive secretary of Gambia Association of Local Government Authorities (GALGA), Mayor Samba Faal and Mustapha Njie. It is meant to enhance regional solidarity, improve local democratic governance, and to strengthen the capacity for sustainable development in local communities among others. During the interactive forum, there were group discussions and open discussion on issues surrounding the ongoing turmoil at the Basse Area Council.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Omar Sampo Ceesay, chairman of Basse Area Council thanked GALGA for putting his council among the beneficiaries of the project, noting that the project is very important and timely.

According to him, the areas that the project will look into are key at the council; that it will help in putting the council in order. He finally thanked Mayor Faal and Tapha Njie for bringing the project to the country and URR in particular, while assuring them of their making the best use of the project.

For his part, Burama Sanyang, lead consultant of the project told the participants that the forum should be an interactive one; thus people will learn from each other. According to him, similar workshops were held in Kerewan, Brikama, KMC, and Banjul.

He said participatory local governance has it that local governance should be participatory; meaning no single actor has dominance over the process, noting that the central government, local authority, civil society organizations, media, women and youth groups all should participate.

He described the two days’ forum as a moment of bringing and sharing ideas on good local governance, noting that the workshop was more of a local dialogue that allowed the sharing of views of the local stakeholders on the elements of good governance.

 Tahpha Jobe of the Ministry of Local Government and Land, said the project is the first of its kind in the history of the country. He urged the participants to put the knowledge into practice and to take the training seriously.

According to him, the project is meant to complement the efforts of Council and therfore urged them to make the best use of the project. For his part, Mayor Samba Faal of Banjul, who is also the president of GALGA, assured that GALGA means at enhancing local councils and expressed hope that the project would be very useful to the people.

Mayor Faal noted that GALGA has existed for quite a number of years but that the project is first of its kind, assuring that this will not be the end. “Our role as a local government authority is more of an advocacy and complimentary to what the government is doing. We are not an association of mayors but an association of local authorities”, Mayor Faal explained.

He urged the participants to come out with anything they thought was not going well at the Council in order for them to find solutions. Officially opening the workshop on behalf of Governor Omar Khan, Momodou S. Jallow, deputy governor of URR thanked GALGA for coming up with the project to URR and assured that Council would make the best use of the project.

He finally underscored the importance of the project to enhancing effective local governance.
Author: Alieu Ceesay in URR
Captioned from the Daily Observer Online Newspaper.



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