By MUHAMMED S. BAH
Banjul, 12 November, 2018 – A two day stakeholder forum on the development of a robust strategy towards the implementation of the National Development Plan (NDP), got underway yesterday Monday November 12th 2018.
This workshop which is organized by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs (MoFEA) and supported by the UNDP, is held at a local Hotel in Kololi.
The overall objective of the forum is to design a participatory governance framework for the NDP including a multi-stakeholder engagement strategy as a platform, to engage in the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the SDGs.
Serigne Fallou Faal, National Policy Adviser at the office of the President and moderator of the forum said the forum will endeavour to comprehensively map out respective institutional responsibilities, with deliverables in the implementation, and with a view to developing communication and feedback mechanisms for the citizenry.
In his opening remarks, Mambury Njie the Minister of Finance, told stakeholder that the sense of ownership and understanding of the NDP will be enhanced. This he said is crucial for the effective participation of all stakeholders in the implementation, monitoring and evaluation plan.
He expressed the hope that the forum will lead to the formulation of a comprehensive outreach strategy, that can provide citizens the opportunity to engage in the implementation of the NDP; that it will as well provide feed-back on how the implementation is impacting on the lives and livelihood of the citizenry.
Citing amongst specific outcomes, MaMbury said the forum will develop a framework for periodic citizen’s engagement with policy decision makers, especially parliamentarians, to discuss their views and impression on the NDP implementation.
On her part MS. Seraphine Wakana, UN Resident Coordinator who doubles as the UNDP Resident Representative, congratulated Government for a successful donor conference in Brussels. She said this is the right time for Gambia to implement the transformational agenda of Government to revitalize the economy, restore good governance and respect human rights among other things. “The plan is not for Government alone to implement, but all of us here have a role to play,” she said.
She laid emphasis of the importance of the involvement of stakeholders in the implementation of the NDP. “The UN through the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), will continue to support Government,” She reiterated.
Alagie Fadera, Director of Development and Planning at MoFEA, said Government alone cannot do it; that it is important to involve stakeholders for the successful implementation of the NDP.
Ousman Yabo, Executive Director of TANGO, speaking on behalf of Civil Society organizations, acknowledged Government’s involvement of CSOs in the development of the NDP. Yabo pointed out that in as much as CSOs are involved in the developmental process, they also serve as a watch dog to Government for the people; that for more than 50 years, Gambia could not develop effectively, citing that no town can be called a city in the Gambia; that one could not go to a town that has no problem with water and electricity in the country.
This program was attended by Civil Society Organizations, Religious Institutions, the Media, both Public and Private Sectors, the academia among others.