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African leaders urge to embrace accountability or risk failure

Oct 31, 2011, 11:58 AM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah

An expert in accountability and governance has tasked and urged African leaders, especially those he referred to as dictators, to embrace accountability and good governance as well as observance of the rule of law and democracy or risk their government’s collapse.

Moses Isooba, Regional Training and Development Advisor at MS-Training center for development and cooperation based in Arusha, Tanzania, said this in an interview with this reporter Friday shortly after the closing ceremony of a two-week intensive training session on accountability and good governance held at the Jeliba Hotel in Kololi.

Moses who served as the lead facilitator of the training course, which brought together civil society representatives, journalists and local government officials, said the issue of accountability and good governance is being established across Africa, and The Gambia is not an exception.

According to him, there is need to improve on quality of service delivery to enable citizens feel that they are citizens.

He said the main objective of the training was to build the capacity of ActionAid staff and partners so that they can be able to demand accountability from their leaders, noting that every citizen has the right to the provision of the basic social services.

In his view, leaders cannot talk about issues of democratization and good governance when their citizens are diseased, or living in abject poverty. He further stated that it is the responsibility of every government to see that its citizens have access to quality service delivery.

“If any government meets the provision of quality service delivery, then that government can say that it has democracy,” he said, while calling on governments to improve the social services of their citizens.

He opined that most state-led accountability mechanisms often fail, and it is in that regard that the CSOs, the citizens, swing into action and therefore begin to demand their rights.

Moses urged African governments to make sure that their state-led accountability mechanisms are functioning otherwise the citizens will keep demanding.

“African governments should realize that the most important asset is their citizens,” he said.