Gambia Press Union (GPU) with funding from The Civil Society Fund in Denmark
(CISU), on Friday launched a D19.5 million project, designed to improve the
welfare of media practitioners in the country.
The project would also enable the union to initiate policies and programmes geared towards strengthening media freedom and to ensure that The Gambia media plays its rightful role in the country’s fragile democratic development and transitional justice process.
The two-year project is the biggest-ever secured by the Union.
GPU and its Danish counterpart, Gambia Media Support (GAMES), a Denmark-based non-profit organisation are the implementing partners.
Minister of Information and Communication Infrastructure, Ebrima Sillah, expressed delight that GPU is now rebranding itself from being a fighting Union to a very proactive Union that works for the members.
“We are also happy that a lot of issues are put into consideration especially the gender equation of the industry and the issues related to the working conditions of media practitioners in the country”.
Minister Sillah emphasised that they are concerned as a government about those that leave their homes to work and then go home without getting what they have worked for or earning little at the end of the day.
“The Gambia media outlets have gone through problems but at some point standards must be set so that the men and women that inform the public can also benefit from the fruit of their labour,” he stated.
Sheriff Bojang, president of GPU disclosed that as an individual journalist and as a fraternity, they all have a lot in common in professionalising their problems.
“Key among the problems is welfare; as journalists since inception, welfare of journalists has always been an issue and it has always been an interest for all journalists,” he said.
“There are a lot of excitement in the project and not just the money involve, but where it is going and where it is supposed to go,” he added.
Per Roholt, project coordinator GAMES, said “that no matter what country you come from, no matter where you live and no matter your profession, we all have one thing in common, we share the same world.”
“Unfortunately, we have financial, social and working climate crisis that have the potential to worsen other crises,” he said.
He continued: “We are simply losing the resources of the world too fast, the wealth of the world is not distributed equally and for the climate crisis, it is evident even in The Gambia that the climate crisis and climate change are taking place.”