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Thank You Friends!

Jan 22, 2009, 4:50 AM

It was with the greatest of pleasure that The Point along with our media colleagues at Foroyaa and Gambia Radio and Television Services (Radio) and civil society organisations received equipment worth over US$50,000 in recent days. The equipment came courtesy of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) under its United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) CapacityBuilding project. The benefit of the donation will be far reaching indeed as otherwise securing such equipment is beyond the means of many organisations. Particularly in the media we struggle with extremely high costs and would be hard pressed to buy equipment such as this on our own.

This is a particular problem for us as we use our computers so intensively that they tend to wear out quickly. This places extreme pressure on us to replace them but in many cases we cannot.

This is why the computer equipment from the UNDP will be of such benefit to us.

Speaking at the presentation ceremony Ms. Linya Ellayeb, UNDP deputy resident representative, said the project aims to strengthen the professional standards and financial viability of media houses to advocate for human development issues in The Gambia. It also aims to strengthen the capacity of CSOs, to monitor and respond to economic and political decisions at national and local levels as well as to enhance the policy and legal environment for protection of rights and civic participation in the decision-making processes.

She said through the media the Gambian population will be in a position to get all the information to make informed choices on national issues ranging from problems pertaining to HIV/AIDS to issues of the government's decision making process. She said it is against this background that the project, 'Capacity Building of Mass Media and Civil Society' was launched to bring about a more vibrant media community and civil society that is aligned to the national and global agenda, and the rights-based approach to development.

She said: "They say a healthy nation is measured by the health of its civil society. I like to say healthy government is measured by the health of its civil society."

It is truly a great honour for us in the media fraternity to strive for the enrichment of our civil society and nation as a whole. We assure the UNDP that we will continue to strive for justice, democracy and human rights and will be unwavering in our struggle. We thank them from the bottom of our hearts for not only recognising our work but also helping us with this equipment so that we might better serve the people of The Gambia.