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NGO Week ends with award ceremony

Feb 21, 2012, 12:14 PM | Article By: Yusuf Ceesay

The maiden edition of NGO Week hosted by the Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (TANGO) ended last Friday with an award ceremony at the Ebunjan Theatre in Kanifing.

Organizers of the programme said the ceremony aimed to publicly recognize the outstanding contribution of their former staff, who served as an executive director and board chairperson of TANGO.

Founded in 1983, TANGO seeks to be a representative, dynamic and credible NGO consortium in The Gambia as well as to maintain a dynamic relationship with the government and other stakeholders.

Award certificates where given to their former chairpersons such as John Njie, Malamin Sonko, Late Tunde Taylor, Rt. Rev. Dr. Bishop Tilewa Johnson, Kaindeh Samba, Ousman Cham, late Ndondy Njie, Yaya Sanyange and Fatou Lamin Faye, Minister of Basic and Secondary Education.

A special award was given to Ebrima Bundu as the longest-serving member of TANGO, as well as Ramatoulie Ceesay for being the first lady secretary of TANGO.

Biram Bojang and Sheikh Lewis were also certified as well as Yankuba Dibba, Ousman Yabo, and Madi Jorbateh, who are all current serving staff.

In a separate development, the Non-State Actors Strengthening Programme presented awards to various organizations for their specific work done in the country, which include ADWAC, GAMCOTRAP, TANGO and WANEP.

A special award for best narrative writing was given to GAMCOTRAP, while the best financial report writing was awarded to ADWAC.

Speaking on the occasion, the Chairman of Tango, Yankuba Dibba, said the event marked the end of the NGO Week, which provided the time and platform to share with partners the good work they have been doing over the years.

“Lot of scarifies have been made to Tango,” said Dibba. He acknowledged that they may not celebrate the consortium if not the dedication of their members.

He said they congratulate the awardees, noting that they have prepared them the way and as well inspired them.

Liseli Bull, coordinator of Non-State Actors Strengthening Program, said their specific objective is to support non-state actors in the development process to make a difference in public lives in the country.

The project, she added, is a 12-month implementation period incorporated in the European Union’s development programme.

The project relates to financial management, governance, outreach, and strengthen programmes and members as well to share and interact, which, she added, had been shown in the NGO Week.

Deputising Mod Secka, permanent secretary of Finance, National Authorising Officer of European Development Fund, Mod Ceesay revealed that the even marks both the first NGO Week and the closure of Non State Actors Strengthening Programme in The Gambia funded by the European Union.

He said: “The relationship of The Government of The Gambia and European Union is based on the continuous Agreement which recognizes the role for Non State Actors in National Bulky most speedily given the invaluable contribution made by the NSA Community in the fields of poverty reduction, sustainable development, human rights and promotion of good governance,”  adding, the overall objective of the European Union support to the Gambia is to support development through not only technical and financial assistance support but also promote sustainable economic and social welfare.

“An important objective has been to increase understanding between key development actors, within the Non State Actors sectors itself, as well as between the Non State Actors and the government of The Gambia. We all, as development stakeholders, have a common goal to improve the lives of citizens of The Gambia and people of the world,” he said.

Mr. Ceesay avers that Networking has been another important area of focus under the Non State Actors Strengthening Programme and that NGO Week even is an example the partnership and the support given.

The forum he said has helped TANGO reach out to its members and reactive members’ thematic group, noting that it will be important for TANGO to sustain what has been started.

He finally revealed that Non State Actors Strengthening programme and technical assistance from the National Authorizing Office Support Unit important gains have been made.

“It will be imperative for us now to continue to build upon this positive momentum for development of The Gambia,” Mr. Ceesay said.