Happy Commonwealth Day 2019 from The British High Commission

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

‘A Connected Commonwealth’

The team at the British High Commission Banjul wish His Excellency President Barrow, the Government and people of The Gambia a happy Commonwealth Day 2019 yesterday Monday 11th March. We join peoples from across the 53 countries who form the Commonwealth family of nations in recognising this opportunity to celebrate and promote the shared values of peace, democracy, good governance and equality.

This year’s theme is a “Connected Commonwealth” and in the year since The Gambia’s re-entry into the Commonwealth, the UK has been proud to support a number of initiatives that have directly benefited The Gambia as the country re-establishes connections with the multitude of Commonwealth institutions and associations. The following are a few examples of areas of support and cooperation:

The Commonwealth Partnership for Development (CP4D) Programme which was launched at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2018. The programme which is being delivered by Westminster Foundation for Democracy, is working with the National Assembly to improve the representation of women, youth and persons with disability in The Gambia. The programme recognises that building and sustaining democracy will only be assured with active, inclusive and democratically governed political parties.

The Commonwealth Magistrates’ and Judges’ Association in partnership with Rule of Law Expertise (ROLE UK) and the Judicial College of England and Wales  is providing training and other support to the Gambian Judiciary, to help strengthen capacity, skills and promote the rule of law.

The Government of The Gambia became an early signatory to the Commonwealth Ocean Alliance (CCOA), a partnership of countries who have committed to tackling plastic pollution and has provided access to a technical assistance facility to support measures.

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Commonwealth Cyber Security programme has provided direct support through assessments and access to training.

The recent launch of the Gambian SheTrades Chapter, part of the global SheTrades initiative implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC), promotes women’s economic participation starting with a focus on agricultural and textiles and garments value chains. Under the SheTrades framework, The Gambia now has access to the resources available under the Commonwealth SheTrades framework.

The British High Commission is also particularly excited that, in addition to our successful Chevening Scholarship programme, young Gambian future leaders are once again eligible to apply for Commonwealth Scholarships to study in the UK, funded by the UK’s Department for International Development. The window for applications for both schemes will open again in the summer and further information is available on the following websites www.chevening.org and www.cscuk.dfid.gov.uk