Jan 4, 2011, 12:53 PM
Ousman Yabbo, executive director of the Association of Non-Governmental Organizations in The Gambia (TANGO), has said that capacity enhancement for Non-Government Organizations to effectively and efficiently participate in public policy processes is “crucial and key”.
According to him, NGOs are complementing government’s efforts in bringing sustainable developments. Yabo made the remarks at a four-day capacity building enhancement for NGOs on human and institutional development held at Jollof Tutors recently.
According to him, TANGO, founded in 1983, is the umbrella organization for NGOs operating in The Gambia. The Association was founded by a group of NGOs out of the concern to avoid duplication of NGO efforts, and to minimize conflict and competition between NGOs.
“The founders were also interested in ensuring maximum use of resources mobilized by NGOs for relief and social development purposes through collaboration, networking, and mutual reinforcement of each other’s activities.”
TANGO has a membership of over 80 national and international NGOs, who are working with communities in different parts of the country.
He said that TANGO’s members play key roles in areas such as health, education, women’s empowerment, agriculture and credit, as well as small enterprise development projects such as vegetable gardening, food processing and similar activities.
Members are also engaged in peace-building activities, and the promotion of human rights and good governance. Noting that some of their members who defaulted to pay their membership dues for years were suspended and “will not benefit from their support”.
He also called on people to become members by joining the bandwagon in developing the country.
He commended Africa Building Foundation for providing the strategic support in staging such forums for TANGO partners in the country.
Alhagie Kurang, CEO of Jollof Tutors, welcomed the participants and expressed his delight that their institution had been identified to host the forum.
He assured TANGO of delivering effectively and efficiently up to expectations.
He reiterated that at Jollof every tutor is a student and every student a tutor.
He said tutors are continuously learning and improving the skills of Gambian people, to take charge of responsibility in nation building.
He appealed to participants to evaluate the services during the four-day forum.
For his part, TANGO deputy director and programme manager, Madi Jobarteh, said NGO roles are significant in grappling the chances of development in supporting and complementing government’s efforts in fulfilling its mandate to taxpayers.
Mr Jobarteh said the forum focused on four different components which included project cycle management, communication and advocacy, financial management system and monitoring and evaluation.
This, he said, will improve the human and institutional capacity for effective and efficient executing development projects in the country.
To develop skills and knowledge of NGO members for them to effectively and efficiently bring about development endeavours is paramount, he added.
TANGO provides the opportunity for NGOs to meet regularly to discuss issues that are of relevance to the NGO community, exchange ideas, and share information about their respective activities, achievements, challenges, as well as promotes NGO solidarity for the benefit of the communities they work with. The ceremony ended with presentation of certificates to participants.