The aim of this particular forum was to forge a closer and more constructive partnership between NGOs, civil society and the private sector, as well as discuss local funding for national development.
All the previous policy dialogues of TANGO were important, but this one is very significant. It discussed the possible ways and means the Gambian private sector, through corporate social responsibilities, can fund the NGO community for the latter to deliver more development projects to the people in a more organised manner.
The NGOs in the country possessed the necessary policy and development expertise and experience executing projects that will touch the very lives of the people who matter, but the private sector has the money to make this happen.
Therefore, it is only wise that the business community directs its corporate social funding to the NGOs to ensure efficiency in achieving national development objectives.
It is true that the private sector provides goods and services worth millions of dalasi to various sectors of the population in fulfilment of its social responsibilities.
In incidences such as floods, bushfires and rainstorms, as well as national celebrations the Gambian private sector has never been found wanting in providing much-needed relief to communities, or supporting the government.
But the question has always been raised as to what capacity has the Gambian private sector to support the local NGOs development organisations.
The response and support of the private sector to the development community in this country needs more boost.
Most, if not all NGOs, big or small in The Gambia depend on external sources for their programmes and interventions.
It is important that the NGOs are able to tap funds from the private sector, locally, for national development financing.
This will be a symbiotic relationship because the private sector stands to benefit from development outcomes initiated and promoted by NGOs. At the same time, the NGOs will be seen to be fulfilling the mandates and obligations they set for themselves.
TANGO and its partners such as ActionAid International The Gambia, and the African Capacity Building Foundation deserve a tap on the back for providing the platform to discuss such issues critical to national development.
“Businesses cannot be successful when the society around them fails.”