Friday, December 8

Gambia Government, Stakeholders Present Plans for GREAT Initiative Project

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By Nelson Manneh

The Government of The Gambia in partnership with the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has presented the plans and actions of the “Gambia’s Responsive and Accountable Transition Project” (EU-UNDP GREAT Initiative) in a high-level event held today.

This landmark initiative, with a budget of nine (9) million Euros and funded by the EU, aims to strengthen The Gambia’s democratic transition, safeguard human rights and enhance governance structures.

The EU-UNDP GREAT initiative emphasizes citizen engagement, particularly the active involvement of women, youth and marginalized groups.

According to stakeholders, the project 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 aligned with The Gambia’s Green Recovery Focused National Development Plan (NDP) 2023-2027 Pillar II on Governance Reforms.

The project also seeks to contribute to the nation’s goal of achieving good governance, respect for human rights, and empowering citizens through decentralization and local governance.

The Ambassador of the European Union to The Gambia, Corrado Pampaloni said: “The European Union was, is and will be firmed 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 said the Gambia serves as a regional and global example when alternative and 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.”

The UNDP Resident Representative, Mandisa Mashologu, during the event, said: “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 (TJ) 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 the rule of law.

The GREAT initiative’s project aims at strengthening and promoting democratic governance in The Gambia. The Specific objectives (outcomes) of the project include: the Constitution and legislation better provide for checks and balances, and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms including rights of minorities and groups living in vulnerable situations -$3,179,733.

It also aims at enhancing the effectiveness of Transitional Justice, rule of law, and human rights mechanisms as per the Transitional Justice recommendations -$3,899,733 and strengthen the effectiveness of local governance structures and services -$3,164,733.

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