Tuesday, September 26

Government 3-year Reform Activity plan ends

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

By Mustapha Jarju

The Gambia Government three years reform activity plan was yesterday closed by the International Republican Institute (IRI0) and the International Federation for Electoral system (IFES) at a ceremony attended by United States Embassy officials to the Gambia, the Independent Electoral Commission, and a representative from the National Assembly.

The Gambia government reform activity was set for three years program funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) aimed to promote inclusive development, electoral integrity, and a meaningful political transition in multi-party democracy in the country.

Speaking at the close of the reform activity program held at the Sir DawdaKairabaJawara International Conference Centre in Bijilo, US Ambassador to the Gambia Sharon L. Cromer said, the United States was proud to be a partner with the people of the Gambia as the country strives to strengthen its democracy which had started again in 2016.

“USAID reform activity is specifically designed to help the nation transition from authoritarian rule to a truly free society, and in the past three years the US government through USAID and its partners like the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the International Foundation for Electoral System (IFES) support the effort of the Gambian leaders, government and civil society organizations to move the country’s reform process forward,” said Ambassador Cromer.

She outlined that, democracy is not a state, but an act that she called on people to act to sustain and preserve democracy, the people of the Gambia she added, have diligently worked and the United States remains committed to supporting the people of the Gambia as they continue on the democratic journey.

Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission, AlieuMomarrNjai said, the three years project that targeted voter education and training of electoral staff was a significant component, and that he would love for the project to continue with much-needed support as the IEC prepares to conduct local government elections in 2023.

“The need for capacity building and voter education cannot be over emphasized and we also remain committed to voter education and training of our staff,” Njai said, while he reminded stakeholders to be aware of their roles in the election processes, that the role of a development process is crucial.

He said the IEC has enjoyed the electoral cycle with IFES and that the IRI with support during crucial elections period which gave crucial equipment to electoral personnel with skill in election monitoring.

Deputy Majority Leader of the National Assembly AbdoulieCeesay said there is a partnership initiated by the IRI between the United States House of Democracy and the National Assembly of the Gambia which came into effect in 2019 and followed a training for the deputies on budgeting meant to improve their legislative responsibilities, understanding of the media, anti-corruption budgeting, disability right, strategic communication, drafting and audit review, which all the 52 National Assembly members benefitted from which was conducted by the IRI.

Honorable Ceesay applauded the IRI for the support they rendered to the National Assembly saying their doors as NAMs will remain open to partner with work based on mutual respect while he looks forward to greater collaboration.