By Olimatou Coker
Activista–The Gambia last Monday sensitised the community of Bakoteh on issues with respect to democracy and elections.
The Bakoteh gathering also looked to promote regional inter-generational dialogue among stakeholders, youth, women leaders, elders, and local government authorities.
It was organised under the theme enhancing democratisation process through youth leadership and participation, and was funded by the National Endowment for Democracy.
Baboucarr Kebbeh, Activista’s KM focal person, said the event was designed to wake communities to understand roles of their leaders as politicians.
“If you look at our society today, immediately after elections apart from the elite class on social media, majority of our communities are not aware of the roles and responsibilities of government especially at local government level.”
He hoped the forum serves as an “eye opener” for the electorate but how they can challenge their leaders.
He told them what is expected of leaders in a democratic state, saying the voice of the people who elected them must at all times be given priority.
The focal person also called for the need to review our ‘out of sorts’ education system. According to him, the Jawara regime was interested in quality education while Jammeh’s former government placed emphasis on access to education, which he said undermined quality.
“What is Barrow’s administration bringing?” he asked.
Saikou Kawsu Gassama, a PhD student, hailed the dialogue, saying it is only through that that exchange of ideas can take place, and youths have courage to demand and raise issues underpinning their participation in politics.
Mr Gassama said these kind of forums serve as a ‘springboard’ for further action in communities.
He said the impact of the dialogue was felt during the program because most of the communities’ whose VDCs were dormant have decided to revive them as a result of their visit and discussions.