#Article (Archive)

Regional NSAs survey launched

Apr 8, 2011, 3:29 PM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah

Stakeholders from civil society organizations, media and others Wednesday gathered at the Paradise Suites Hotel for the launching of a regional survey on Non State Actors (NSAs) in The Gambia.

The forum was, among others, aimed at promoting a better visibility and understanding of NSAs, document the activities of NSAs in The Gambia, sensitize NSAs and their partners on the importance of the ECOWAS database and to collect data required to develop the NSAs database.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Dr Guevara A. Yoa, Community Development Programme expert at the ECOWAS Commission who spoke on behalf of Prof. Lambert N. Bamba, Commissioner of Macroeconomic Policy at the ECOWAS Commission, said that the force of globalization and instability around the world have made West African countries to be susceptible to adverse economic conditions.

According to him, it has become quite obvious that ECOWAS member states must adapt to these new realities in order to achieve sustainable development. This change, he added, could be better appreciated by analyzing the global environment, and by finding new partners that could sustain a viable economic position.

He noted that the ECOWAS Commission adopted the Vision 2020, with the basic aim of transforming ECOWAS from an "ECOWAS of States" to an "ECOWAS of the people", adding that the success of this transformation will require the commission and member states to take ownership of this new vision.

"This requires a good knowledge of non-state actors and a better understanding of how they have evolved over time," he said. He also stated that NSAs are indeed more efficient at grass roots level and more experienced in the delivery of social and economic interventions to targeted populations.

Serign Cham, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, in a statement underscored the importance of NSAs, noting that NSAs have important roles to play in policy debates and the development of the region, given their political and social legitimacy as well as their greater flexibility.

PS Cham commended the ECOWAS Commission for their efforts in promoting peace, stability and economic development within the region.

John Charles Njie, Executive Director Pro-Poor Advocacy Group and the representative of the non state actors in The Gambia, said the world recognized the role of NSAs in realizing West Africa’s economic potential.

According to Mr. Njie, West Africa is endowed with an abundance of human and natural resources, a coastal location coupled with an impressive landmass and huge potential for strong growth, but as yet the society has realized very little of its potential.