By Kaddy Jawo
Starting from this month, November 2018, The Gambia will benefit from the expansion of the Commonwealth Partnership for Democracy (CP4D) – an initiative implemented by Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) and backed by the UK Government with funding of over $5 million for work across 18 Commonwealth countries, a press release from British High Commission revealed.
In the 2017 National Assembly elections, only 19 out of 239 candidates nominated by political parties were women. Even lower is the number of assembly members with disabilities.
The Partnership aims to make politics more inclusive by linking political parties and institutions with women, persons with disabilities and other marginalised groups. It will provide support, training and opportunities for engagement between political leaders and under-represented groups of citizens.
Richard Graham MP, Chair of WFD, said: “Joining the Commonwealth Partnership for Democracy is a fundamental step for the development of democratic institutions.
“For effective democracy to be realised, politics must be open and representative of all sectors of society.”
Access to the Partnership was made possible by The Gambia’s membership of the Commonwealth and builds on the work carried out by WFD to support the National Assembly following the restoration of democracy in the country. This included training newly-elected assembly members, supporting the speedy production of official records of debates and making the work of the assembly more accessible through communications.
About the Partnership
· The £4m two-year initiative was launched at the 2018 London meeting of Commonwealth Heads of Government, which was attended by President Adama Barrow
· The official launch of the Partnership in The Gambia will take place on 7 November in Banjul
· The Partnership is implemented by Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD)