Nov 10, 2015, 10:23 AM
The Gambia Association of Local Government Authority (GALGA) Tuesday began a two-day national consensus building seminar on indicators of good governance at the regional education office in Brikama.
The forum, which brought participants from five administrative local government areas in the country, was funded by the European Union through the STRAP project.
The project is a three-year programme which started in 2011and expected to wrap up this year, with an envelop of €1.5 million and involves five local government areas within the country, namely URR, NBR, WCR, KMC and Banjul.
In his welcome remarks, the chairman of the Brikama Area Council, Bakary Saibo Sanneh, said the workshop, which is a fundamental activity to the STRAP project, is primarily aimed at harmonizing the sets of indicators by all the five implementing LGAs into nationally agreed indicators in preparation for the regional consensus building workshop.
He also said they believe the STRAP project has the potential to enhance and develop the capacities of the human, financial and materials resources of each of the five LGAs as well as empower and support village development committees and wards to encourage participating local governance at grassroots level.
In his official opening statement, the director, directorate of governance, at the Ministry of Regional Governments and Lands, Momodou Jallow, said national consensus building workshop on good governance indicators are key components of the STRAP project.
The objective, he noted, is to harmonize the set of indicators developed by their respective council into a nationally agreed indicators in preparation for regional consensus building workshops to be held later.
He also went further to say governance is the process of decision-making and the process by which decisions are implemented.
He asserted that good governance assures that corruption is reduced, the views of the minority are taken on board and that the views of the most vulnerable in society are heard in decision-making.
According to Mr Jallow, Gambia government has demonstrated high degree of political will as regards the legal and policy framework pre-requisites to local government reform and decentralization.
He also lamented on the importance of indicators which are very useful since they will measure performance to enhance standardization and compare performance between councils, share experience and best practices.
He told the participants that the ministries will fully support GALGA to complement government’s efforts at including the three remaining councils.
Deputizing GALGA acting-president Mayor Yankuba Colley (of KMC), North Bank Region Governor Lamin Queen Jammeh hailed GALGA for organising the workshop to enlighten GALGA authority on the development of the STRAP project, adding that there is need to take the forum seriously as it is also the ‘mock exam’ of the STRAP project.
He also emphasised the need for all the participants to add their inputs to the effective implementation of the project.
He then urged the councillors to identify the indicators of good governance.
He also used the occasion to thank the EU, through the UCAZ office in Zimbabwe, for funding the workshop and the entire STRAP project.