Feb 11, 2009, 3:39 AM
The Senegalese-Gambian Association for Integration and Socio-Economic Development (SGAISD) is set to hold an international conference and symposium for the first time since the inception of the association in September last year.
The association with its chapter in both The Gambia and Senegal was formed to further cement the existing relations between the two nations as well as complement the efforts of both governments.
The forum, expected to be graced by the Vice President of The Gambia, is planned to bring together over 2,000 delegates 70 of them from Senegal.
The conference will also witness the signing of the Banjul declaration of the Senegambia Integration, which will be the 1st Edition 2014.
The two-day event to be held at the Paradise Suites Hotel Penchami Hall on May 31 and June 1 will assemble delegates of both nations from various organisations, universities, senior schools, unions among others.
It will also engage university students of both nations in a debate on the theme: “Is Senegambia integration a necessary tool for the socio-economic advancement of its people?”
The lectures will be handled by professors from universities of the two nations on the historical perspective of Senegambia, the prospects and the way forward, some of which will be delivered by Professor Iba Der Thiam, a renowned politician and lecturer.
Other resource persons are Professor Ibrahima Thiuob of Chiekh Anta Diop University in Dakar, Senegal; Dr Pierre Gomez, Dean of the School of Social Science and Humanities at the University of The Gambia, and Alh Ebou Momar Taal, former Gambian Ambassador to Senegal and first assistant executive secretary of the Senegalo-Gambian permanent secretariat.
Documents to be presented at the conference are expected to be useful to university students of both countries for research work.
In a press briefing held at the GRTS-NATCOM-GPU UNESCO-UTG-GOTG media training centre, GRTS building, along MDI road, the SGAISD chairperson, Saikou B. Jarju, told the gathering that another objective of the association is to bring the people of the two nations to upholding their cultural heritage.
According to him, it also stands to strengthen the trade ties of the sister nations, such as the free movement of people and services and technological transfer as these are some of their targeted areas.
He further emphasised the significance of the trade ties of the two nations, saying it could start from the grassroots.
The association chairman said it was significant for the collaboration of both nations for the benefit of their people, adding that they would like to stage sports activities, such as football, athletics, and wrestling, as well as cultural shows and beauty pageant among others, which could be done at district, regional and national level of both countries.
According to Jarju, the association also prioritises the binding of key stakeholders of both nations through forums to discuss issues of peaceful coexistence for the acceleration of the growth and development of the economies of the two nations.
Jarju thanked President Yahya Jammeh for his support and encouragement and also thanked Gamtel/Gamcel and other benefactors for their support.
SGAISD’s Secretary General Abdou Salam Jammeh also spoke at the press briefing.