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National Assembly to table development plan to donor partners

Jan 31, 2011, 11:32 AM | Article By: Lamin B Darboe

The National Assembly will convey a Donor Round Table Conference on 16 February 2011 in which it will present its strategic investment and development plan to its donor partners to seek commitment of funding from them.

The resources that will be mobilised through the Donors' Conference are meant to support the successful implementation of the 2010-2014 Strategic Development and Investment Plan of the National Assembly.

In order to build the capacity of the institution to enable it fulfill its core functions of legislating, oversight, scrutiny and representation, the National Assembly within the framework of good governance, has been undergoing a process of reform and development.

The current proposals for reform and development are in line with the objectives outlined in the Vision 2020 strategy document of The Gambia, which reaffirms that the development objectives for The Gambia are set against a background of political and social stability, as well as an unflinching adherence to the rule of law, democracy and respect for human rights.

As part of its consultative process ahead of the Donor Round Table Conference, the National Assembly Friday briefed members of the press on all aspects of its organization and impact.

Speaking at the briefing, Hon. Paul Mendy, Chairman of the Taskforce for the Conference, said the proposal for reform and development is the result of a consultative and well thought-out process by the National Assembly and its partners, a process during which consensus was reached on the strategic plan and the resource mobilization plan by all political parties represented at the Assembly.

The reform will ensure a highly skilled and dynamic National Assembly that will be able to perform at optimal level, Hon. Mendy says: "It is also hoped that this proposed reform would bring about a more independent National Assembly, which will fuel the wheels of development and help The Gambia attain Vision 2020 and the Millennium Development Goals."

To allow National Assembly Members to fulfill their obligations and duties, he explained, there is recognition of the need for the legislature to reform and develop.

"Improved organizational and capacity development of the National Assembly is required to allow it to fulfill the constitutional and democratic functions of a modern legislature, so as to provide a service of high standards to NAMs and to the citizens of The Gambia," he added.

Hon. Mendy further stated that the Strategic Development and Investment Plan for the period 2010-2014 "is a first step on the road towards the realization of an improved and more effective National Assembly".

In his view, the National Assembly recognizes that the reform of a legislature is a process and not an event, and therefore the strategic development and investment plan should be seen in this light.

Other speakers at the briefing included Mr Dominic Mendy, a consultant, Mr Dodou Kebbeh, Clerk of the National Assembly, and Hon. Momodou L.K. Sanneh, minority leader of the National Assembly.