Dec 4, 2009, 10:53 AM
The Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (TANGO), in partnership with Non-State Actors Strengthening Program support for national development, on 1 April 2011 launched a D2.7 million project.
According to officials, the project aims to empower duty bearers in the promotion of human rights and good governance being supported by the European Commission.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Ousman Yabo, director of TANGO, said 13 civil society organization are benefiting from this project.
He says the project focuses on duty bearers by empowering them to promote human rights and good governance to bring about developments in their various disciplines of work.
The European Commission (EC) and the Government of The Gambia have signed an agreement for the EC to support civil society organization and NGOs to implement certain development projects at the community level in complementing the government’s efforts in national development.
According to the Tango boss, the project seeks to achieve right-based approach in empowering the local people at the grassroots level.
“Right based approach to development simply means people taking control of what they need,” he added. “There cannot be any meaningful development if the people are not well informed and have skills to take charge of their responsibilities as citizens and collectively work together in the interest of nation building.”
He said the NGOs communities are involved in so many development programmes in the country and are complementing government’s efforts in realizing the MDGs and the Vision 2020 strategic objectives.
For his part, Madi Jobarteh, TANGO programme manager, said the project would last for twelve months targeting duty bearers in CRR, LRR and NBR provincial regions of the country as a start.
The idea is to introduce right-based approach to development as development is a human rights issue, Mr. Jobarteh says, adding that development is about needs of human beings and the right to participate in the provision of those needs.
The project will capacitize the village development committees, ward development committees, local councillors, NGO members and stakeholders in programming and implementation of community development projects.
According to him, at the national level they are targeting the policy and lawmakers to engage them through seminars, workshops and awareness creation to enhance development at all level.
“The right to development is an unalienable human right and therefore it is a collective responsibility for all and sundry to work towards achieving it,” he said.
Mr. George Nyouki, programme officer for NGO Affairs Agency, underscored the importance of the project.
He stressed that human needs are their developmental rights that every human being should enjoy but was quick to say every right goes with responsibility, “which this project has come to strengthen so that all and sundry will collectively come together to develop the country”.