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ActionAid and Kuntaur Area Council launch British Embassy Funded Project – ‘Promoting Citizens Participation in Local Governance Decentralization”

Nov 13, 2015, 11:31 AM

ActionAid International The Gambia (AAITG) in partnership with the Kuntaur Area Council has launched the British Embassy funded project, ”Promoting Citizens’ Participation In Local Governance Decentralization in Kuntaur Area Council” on Monday 19th October 2015. The launching ceremony took place in Kuntaur in the Central River Region and was well attended by members of Kuntaur Area Council, the communities, staff of ActionAid, local dignitaries and partners. The nine month project worth £10,000, aims to strengthen the capacity of the Local Government Authority to promote active community participation in local council development in Kuntaur Area Council coordinated by ActionAid.

In a speech delivered on behalf of the Governor of the Region Omar Khan by the Director of Planning and Development Mr. Omar Ceesay, he asserted that Kuntaur Area Council is the least endowed Area Council amongst the 7 Local Government Authorities and, like other councils,is not effectively fulfilling its mandate under the 2002 Local Government Act. “With the absence of adequate resources a lot of things cannot be done. ‘Therefore the support accorded to Kuntaur Area Council by the British Embassy through ActionAid International The Gambia can be regarded as a step in the right direction as it will enable the Council to address certain pressing aspects of its capacity development needs’, he concluded.

Speaking on behalf of ActionAid’s Executive Director, Mrs. Ndella Faye-Colley, AAITG’s Fundraising Manager re-iterated the importance of the partnership between Kuntaur Area Council and ActionAid which she noted, dates back many years. She stated that ActionAid’s vision of a world without poverty in which every person enjoys their right to a life of dignity, can only be achieved when we work together by building partnerships across the board. “We need to work with different stakeholders from the government, NGOs, local government Authorities, and the community because all of us have something to bring towards the realization of this vision”, said Mrs. Faye-Colley. She expressed AAITG’s gratitude and appreciation to the British Embassy for funding this significant project on local governance decentralization.

The launching ceremony was followed by a three-day Training of Trainers’ Capacity Development where the Governor of the Region Omar Khan expressed gratitude to ActionAid and the British Embassy Banjul for the initiative, which he emphasised, will go a long way in building the capacity of Kuntaur Area Council. He urged the Ministry of Lands and Regional Government and other development partners to do more on capacity building of the local government council as the area councils cannot implement the Local Government Act without their full support. Governor Khan indicated that most of the area council members do not have knowledge about the Local Government Act because they are not trained on it.He challenged Kuntaur Area Council to take the lead in capacity building so as to fully implement the Local Government Act and promised his full support.

As part of the training, a field visit to Niani Senior Secondary School was organized which offered the opportunity for interaction between the Councilors and Staff of the LGAs on the role of Council in the community. On behalf of the Government of The Gambia, the Council’s Chairperson Mr. Mbaye expressed gratitude to ActionAid and the British Embassy Banjul for their immense contribution to the national development process.

Press Release: 11 November 2015