May 20, 2009, 7:32 AM
The National Council for Civic Education (NCCE) recently organised a daylong training on the 2002 Amended Local Government Act for 50 participants drawn from the various village development committees in the country.
The training participants were from four regions: Kerewan, Daranka, Banjulding and New Yundum.
Speaking at the sensitisation training held at the Banjulding Community Centre, Junkung Saidy, a civic education officer, said the objective of the Act is to establish and regulate a decentralised local government system for The Gambia and to make provision for the functions, power and duties of local government authorities.
He said section 193 (1) of the constitution states that local government administration in The Gambia shall be based on system of democratically elected councils with a high degree of autonomy, adding that section 214 (3) of the constitution says the state shall be guided by the principle of decentralization and devolution of governmental functions and powers to the people at appropriate levels of control to facilitate democratic governance.
According to him, the training will build the capacities of the participants given the fact that village development committees (VDCs) are the entry point of all development activities in the village, noting that they should be able to know their functions which will enable them to work according to their mandate.
The training will inform them about preparations of 2013 local government elections and they were exposed to various issues of the content of the act including dissolution of the council’s terms of a councillor cessation of office, development plans, development structures, composition of VDCs and functions of ward development committees (WDC) among others.
Ansumana Yaboe, civic education supervisor, also stated that the training will help the participants to differentiate between the political agenda from the development agenda because these are the development structures like the VDC and the WDC.
Yaboe added that it will help them to regularize the selections and functioning of their respective VDC.