Oct 20, 2008, 5:27 AM
The Speaker of the National Assembly Honourable Elizabeth Renner has disclosed that the National Assembly is faced with daunting limitations and challenges, stressing that like any other public service, the onus lies on them as National Assembly Members to adapt to these seemingly ever-growing challenges.
"Take for instance, the fact that the Gambian parliament loses nothing less than 20% of its membership during each five year term",
Of course, this is a big challenge for the country's lawmakers to deliver effectively and to stand for those they represent.
The issue is that like many other representative bodies, if people elect their parliamentarians they give them all the powers to act and speak on their behalf, particularly, on issues of common interests. However, if the same people loose hope on them, hardly they reelect them.
Speaker Renner spoke about the House's challenges at the validation of the Strategic Development and Investment Plan of the National Assembly 2009-2014, held at the Sea View Hotel last Friday.
The document, among others, in essence is the blueprint for the medium and long-term development of capacity at the National Assembly.
It entails the Human Resource Development of Assembly staff, the professional and career training of members, the institutional strengthening of the oversight and law-making structures, practices and processes of the National Assembly.
With regards to the issue of capacity-building this is very important, as it would enhance the effectiveness of the members.
"It is against these backdrops that there is dire need to put in place a mechanism that ensures capacity development as an ongoing enterprise for the Gambia National Assembly", she said.
This is true. That is why the UNDP project becomes even more crucial. It's imperative that if the National Assembly members were capacitised they would be able to do their work effectively and professionally.
The National Assembly through its support projects must work hard in order to overcome some of the challenges facing the legislative armed of the government.