Mar 27, 2008, 8:37 AM
The forum, which brought together participants from three sectors in The Gambia - the public, private sectors and civil society, was held at the TANGO conference hall.
The aim was to forge a closer and more constructive partnership between NGOs, civil society and the private sector, as well as discuss local funding for national development.
The theme for the dialogue was “Directing corporate social responsibility toward development organizations”.
In his remarks on the occasion, TANGO Executive Director Ousman Yabo commended ActionAid International The Gambia and ACBF for their support in realizing the forum.
He said the forum was also held to forge a closer and more constructive partnership between NGOs, civil society and the private sector, as well to discuss local funding for national development.
“NGOs are here to support government policy” hence the government is their key partner, he added.
Lamin Camara, deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, expressed happiness with TANGO for organizing such a forum.
He said for any sustainable development to take place, the private sector has a central role to play given its contribution to economic growth, job creation, the provision of goods and services and in infrastructural development.
DPS Camara added that the Gambia government is committed to working with all partners to identify, test, and scale up public partnership models in a systematic way.
The chairperson of TANGO, Yahya Sanyang, in his statement, stressed that over the years they had witnessed a steady increase in the response of the private sector to the needs of Gambian communities.
Some of the key interventions have been in the education sector where private companies continually sponsor the education of students and provide learning materials to schools, as well as the health sector through the sponsoring of wards and medical equipment, he said.
“The harmonization of the efforts of the private sector with that of development organizations is, therefore, essential for the realization of the optimum impact needed to catalyze sustainable development processes,” Mr Sanyang said.
Dawda Sarge, a board member of GCCI, conveyed appreciation and gratitude to the management of TANGO for organizing such a forum, and thanked ActionAid and ACBF for their support to the forum.
He said GCCI as the voice of the business community recognizes the fact that it is a critical driver, and a significant private sector partner in national development.
Omar Badjie, executive director of ActionAid International The Gambia, described the forum as very important for bringing all the sectors together to talk about development.
He pointed out that 95 per cent of the funding they are investing in The Gambia is coming from outside, adding that to develop the country the private, public and civil society must form partnerships.
Mr Badjie commended TANGO for organizing the forum, and assured them of the support and commitment of ActionAid.