Senegambia Youth vows to push for more integration

Monday, December 04, 2017

Civil Society Activists from Senegal and The Gambia have renewed their stance to work together for the betterment of the people of the Senegambia region.

They made this call last Thursday as 6-member delegation from the Senegalese Civil Society under the auspices of Y’en a Marie concluded a four-day exchange visit to The Gambia.

The team was hosted by two leading Gambian Civil Soceity Organisations, namely Beakayang and Gum Sa Bopa.

The visit, according to activists, was to promote cultural, economic, political and social ties between the people of the two countries. It was also meant to provide an opportunity for the CSOs of the two countries to interact, exchange ideas, best practices and to learn from each other.

Representatives of Gambian CSOs commended their Senegalese counterparts especially Y'en a Marie for the exchange visit, which they described as long overdue.

They also hailed them for supporting their Gambian brothers and sisters especially during the country’s political impasse, where many sought refuge in Senegal.

They assured the delegation of their commitment to working closely with them in strengthening the already existing ties between the two countries. They acknowledged the fact that the two nations shared many in common from languages, food religion, culture and most importantly family ties.

However, during their visit, the team discussed with their Gambian counterparts the need to establish projects that could bring the people of the two countries closer.

“It was agreed that a project to be called mboka or mbading meaning “we belong to the same family” in the Gambia wollof and Mandinka respectively to be initiated in Gambia and Senegal. The term manila or mbading refers to the fact that Senegalese and Gambian citizens belong to the same linguistic and cultural territory thus given the closeness of the region,  there exist real kinship between the people of the two countries. The mboka project’s goal is to open several mboka centres in both countries that would allow for sharing culture, thereby promoting the arts and stimulating civic education in the local level”.

The move, according to activists, is aimed at making Senegambia citizens aware of the crucial need of establishing a strong common citizenship culture, mobilising citizens to invest in the arts through the mboka’s area that promote inter-culturality and experience sharing as well as encouraging citizen’s initiatives in favour of good governance and working with leaders for the benefit of the local communities.

While in The Gambia, the team had successful meetings with various CSOs in the country as well as local authorities who expressed their gratitude with the visit.

Author: Sheriff Janko