The new seeks to transform NCCE from a Council to a Commission. It also seeks to set up regional offices across all regions, among other things.
Presiding over the official opening on behalf of the secretary general and head of Civil Service, Mustapha Yaboo commended the leadership and staff of NCCE and all other stakeholders for what he described long-overdue reform of the NCCE.
According to him, over the past two decades, The Gambia suffered immensely under an authoritarian rule characterised by poor governance, limited considerations for democracy and abuse of fundamental human rights of citizens.
He stated that since we are less than 100 days to the 2021 presidential elections, it’s important for us as a country to renew our commitment to the advancement of democracy and the rule of law and to sustain the gains “we have achieved over the last five years.”
“The participation of all citizens in this process is essential towards maintaining a democratic system of government in The Gambia. One way of enhancing the capacity of the population to effectively participate in democracy is through civic education.”
“Therefore, he said, citizens need to be provided with the correct information on rights and issues of governance that will enable them to effectively participate in public affairs and national development”.
“With this new bill enacted, I am very optimistic that the NCCE will be in a better position to give citizens the requisite civic knowledge and skills that will help them respond and participate in all national development issues effectively” he added.
For his part, the attorney general and Minister of Justice, Dawda Jallow, said the new bill would transform civil education or the NCCE from a council to a commission, giving it more power and independence to be able to come up with comprehensive civil education programmes and activities that will provide much needed natural and non partisan information as a means of enabling and enhancing civil participation in matters.
The chairman of NCCE, Sering Fye, said the bill seeks to obtain a direct and detailed mandate of the institution, clear the ambiguity of the independence of the NCCE, enhance the availability of funds with predictability and certainty and set up of regional offices across all the regions of the country to bring civic education to the doorsteps of people in rural Gambia.
According to the NCCE chairman, the primary objective of upgrading is to expand NCCE’s capacity in terms of a new legal instrument and structural reforms to improve efficacy and efficiency in service delivery precisely.