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WANJOP-Gambia inaugurates national committee

Mar 1, 2010, 12:10 PM | Article By: Yusuf Ceesay

The National Steering Committee for the West African Network of Journalists for Peace-building (WANJOP) in The Gambia was on Friday 26th February 2010, inaugurated at a ceremony held at the Gambia Press Union Secretariat in Bakau.

In her inaugural address, the Special Guest of Honour at the occasion, Ms Pamela Cole, the National Coordinator of West Africa Network for Peace-building (WANEP) described the move as a step in the right direction.

"We are gathered here today to witness the inauguration of what one might consider a fitting and necessary body in our collective efforts to maintain peace in not only our beloved Gambia but in the sub-region," she said, while expressing her conviction that the committee is indeed a worthy and well-meaning group.

She urged the group to work together as a team in order to achieve their objectives.

Peace, she said, is a priceless commodity, urging that nothing should stand on their way in maintaining it.

Delivering the keynote address, Mr. Nfamara Jawneh, the Regional President of WANJOP conveyed best wishes and warmest congratulations to the members on behalf of the regional committee.

He hailed the members for their commitment to the promotion of peace and security in the country and by extension in the sub-region.

According to him, the committee would work with the regional office in Ghana to ensure the smooth running of WANJOP programmes in the Smiling Coast of Africa for at least a renewable period of two years.

He revealed that the network was formed in Accra, Ghana on May 11, 2009, by a group of journalists from nine (9) West African countries with the ultimate goal of promoting peace in the sub-region through the use of the mass media.

Jawneh maintained that the media plays a critical role in peace-building, but he said it could also be a dangerous weapon during conflicts, if not properly used.

WANJOP Regional Boss encouraged the committee to share the ideal of 'peace journalism' with their colleagues in the media.

Delivering his acceptance speech, Mr. Sang Mendy, the National Chairperson of WANJOP-Gambia Chapter said they have wholeheartedly accepted to serve WANJOP in The Gambia. He revealed that the network held its first national election in The Gambia on 29th January 2010.

Mendy pledged that they would measure up to expectations and appealed for support from the general public.

Modou Sanyang, the National Coordinator gave the vote of thanks, while reaffirming WANJOP's commitment to the promotion of peace in The Gambia.

In a solidarity statement, Fabakary Kalleh, the Executive Secretary of Youth Ambassadors of Peace pledged his organisation's support to the network in many ways, particularly in the area of training.

Meanwhile, other committee members include Alice Gai of The Voice as Vice-Chairperson, Isatou Bittaye of Foroyaa as Information and Communications Officer, Namory Trawally of Sports Digest as Finance Secretary and Alieu Jabang of The Point as Social Secretary.

Pa Modou Faal of GPU chaired the ceremony.