Apr 23, 2012, 3:02 PM
The IPR meeting was organised by GALGA through the Strengthening Transnational Partnership and Network project for enhancing participatory local governance.
The STRAP project funded to the tune of 1.5 million Euros, was expected to benefit three participating countries, namely Zimbabwe, Ghana and The Gambia.
The purpose of the IPR meeting was to give the delegates the opportunity to learn new skills and lessons on best practices for the smooth implementation of the project.
In his welcoming remarks, Bakary Saibo Sanneh, Chairman of Brikama Area Council, welcomed the delegates from Ghana and Zimbabwe, as well as other participants, to the meeting.
In his remarks, Mam Sait Jallow, Chief Executive Officer of BAC, gave a brief history of the council, ranging from the various departments and units to other relevant information of the council.
Livison Mutekede, IPR facilitator, outlined the objectives of the exercise, saying it included helping local government authorities improve their policymaking, adopt and promote good practices, and generate creativity and innovation to mitigate weaknesses among others.
Mr Mutekede disclosed that as part of the ongoing STRAP project implemented in partnership with the National Association of Local Government Authorities (NALAG) and Urban Council of Zimbabwe (UCAZ), Brikama Area Council is peered to partner with Atebubu-Amantin District Assembly of Brong Ahafo region in Ghana.
Sampson Owusu Boateng, Chief Executive of Atebubu-Amantin District Authority, said he was delighted with the management of Brikama Area Council.
Mr Boateng reiterated that the primary objective of the peer review is not to find fault with peer local government authority; it is a learning process to improve on governance and ensures that IPR partners benefit from undertaking the process, learning from each other’s experience, minimizing and limiting their weaknesses and improving their strengths.
In her opening remarks on the occasion, Ajaratou Aminata Hydara, Governor of West Coast Region, commended GALGA (Gambia Association of Local Government Authorities) and stakeholders for the initiative.
Governor Hydara spoke of the essence of the Peer Review exercise in enhancing the values of local governance, local democracy, transparency and accountability, participation, effectiveness, and equity.
Governor Hydara noted the long-standing historical ties between the three implementing countries (The Gambia, Ghana and Zimbabwe) of the Strengthening Transnational Networks and Partnership Project (STRAP).
Madam Hydara further thanked and reiterated the commitment of the government under the leadership of President Yahya Jammeh for advocating and supporting initiatives with similar objectives.
In conclusion, Madam Governor urged the participants to make best use of the exercise in sharing experience, knowledge, and best practices.
Adama Jeng, programme officer of GALGA, noted with delight the level of commitment and efforts manifested by the participants during the course of the three-day peer review exercise.
Mr Jeng assured that GALGA would continue to consolidate the basis of a formal twining process of councils in The Gambia, Ghana and Zimbabwe as a core concept of the STRAP project.