The Government of The Gambia, in partnership with the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Monday presented plans and actions of the “Gambia’s Responsive & Accountable Transition Project” (EU-UNDP GREAT Initiative).
This landmark initiative, with a budget of nine million Euros funded by the EU, aims to strengthen The Gambia’s democratic transition, safeguard human rights, and enhancegovernance structures.
The EU-UNDP GREAT initiative emphasizes citizen engagement, particularly the active involvement of women, youth, and marginalized groups. It seeks to empower civil society organizations, the private sector, and the media to demand greater participation, transparency, accountability, and responsiveness in governance processes.
The EU-UNDP GREAT initiative is aligned with The Gambia’s Green Recovery Focused National Development Plan (NDP) 2023-2027 Pillar II on Governance Reforms. It seeks to contribute to the nation’s goal of achieving good governance, human rights respect, and empowering citizens through decentralization and local governance.
Head of the Delegation of the European Union to The Gambia Ambassador Corrado Pampaloni stated: “The European Union was, is, and will be firm in its commitment to supporting democracy, upholding human rights, and fostering good governance globally. With the GREAT Project, we do – again – walk the talk.”
He added: “The country serves as a regional and global example in times where alternative, regressive models expand across the region. The Gambia is on a path to be a recognized beacon of peace, stability, and democracy and its success will be witnessed not only by The Gambian citizens but far beyond.”
He said the GREAT initiative’s project aims at strengthening and promoting democratic governance in The Gambia.
According to him, the specific objectives are the “constitution and legislation better provide for checks and balances, protect human rights and fundamental freedoms including rights of minorities and groups living in vulnerable situations- – Enhance the effectiveness of transitional justice, rule of law, and human rights mechanisms as per the transitional justice recommendations.
– Strengthen the effectiveness of local governance structures and services.
The UNDP Resident Representative, Mandisa Mashologu, stated: “It is our shared commitment to enhancing social cohesion, national reconciliation, and an inclusive economy that benefits all Gambians.”
“By investing in this project, we aim to see a future where: Young people, Women, and People with disabilities (PWDs), hold a more equitable share of leadership positions, reflecting the 50% of the population they represent.
“Transitional justice is not just a concept but a reality, where victims find closure, and perpetrators are held accountable; and Local communities are empowered to make decisions that affect their lives, contributing to a more vibrant and participatory democracy.”
The EU-Great initiative’s theory of change envisioned that the initiative would support the Government to ensure that no citizen is left behind in the country’s progress towards enhancing the democratic transition, consolidating inclusive governance institutions, systems, and processes, at national and local levels, and promoting human rights, justice, and rule of law.