Sunday, February 5

FM Tangara calls for more support for civil society organisations in Africa

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Dr. Mamadou Tangara, Gambian’s Foreign Affairs Minister, has called for more support for civil society organisations in Africa for growth and partnership to be strengthened between them and governments.

He made the call on Tuesday at the opening of the U.S.-African Leaders Summit while delivering the national paper at the civil society Forum held at the US Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Tangara said civil society is the conscience of the nation and should be supported to continue serving as a moderator that would bring about inclusion and cooperation between the Government and the people.

The Minister recalled that civil society in The Gambia played a crucial role in ushering in a new democratic dispensation in the country.

He urged other governments around the world not to see civil society as enemies but as partners in good governance.

Mr. Tangara said Gambia believes in a strong and vibrant civil society because “we saw their positive contribution and cooperation with the government”.

He added that in July of last year, President Adama Barrow signed a bill for Access to Information which recognised it as a human right.

Mr. Tangara pointed out that it was the first time in the West African nation’s history that civil society and the government worked together on legislation from conception to enactment, adding that the bill is meant to enhance accountability and good governance.

According to him, following the democratic change in Gambia in 2017, the government established the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) to investigate and establish an impartial record of atrocities committed under the reign of former President Yahya Jammeh and his close aides.

He said The Gambia believes that the best approach to tackling the nexus between underdevelopment and instability is by focusing on the interlinked pillars of peace and security, development, good governance, and human rights.

He observed that the approach should be pursued in a coherent manner aimed at realising the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the aspirations of the African Union (AU) for a prosperous Africa as envisioned in the AU’s Agenda 2063.

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