By Olimatou Coker
The Gambia Sustainable Land Management Investment Framework (Gamsif) validated a communication and public advocacy strategy designed to oversee the sustainable development of agricultural land in The Gambia for increased productivity.
Nepad’s TerrAfrica (Tefa)Project is supporting the development of the public advocacy and communications strategy to complement the implementation of its framework.
The review of the strategy was organised Wednesday at the Nema offices in Abuko.
The communication and public strategy is grounded in Gamsif’s “fundamental conviction” that rural economic development is a consequence of the productivity of the land the people till, to the benefit of their country and to a more equitable society.
The chief business development officer of Tefa, Mariama Fatajo, said communication and public advocacy is about connecting people such as staff, beneficiaries and other institutions and individuals to the information, best practices, knowledge and expertise they need in order to perform their jobs effectively and create value.
“The analysis of knowledge, attitude and practice was done to understand what kind of information should be communicated to the target stakeholders to achieve the objectives of Gamsif and its desired impact,” she said.
Fatajo said the focus of the communication strategy must adapt to take advantage of changing trends.
“We will engage with government and development agencies but we must broaden our focus, by reaching out more directly to civil society; building relationships with media that go beyond seeking headlines; and working more closely with communication officers to connect with communities and farmers.”
The director general of the Department of Agriculture, Sanyang Jobarteh, said the reviewing of the communication and public advocacy strategy, elates him, and said social, political and economic agendas are increasingly shaped by a wider range of media and digital channels, and informed both by local appreciation and concern for issues.
“We need to capitalise on these trends to dramatically expand the reach of Gamsif communication and in doing so, expand our ability to influence public, fuel social engagement and drive private and public resources for Gambian farmers,” he said.
He called on consultants to take note of what has been reviewed and promised to distribute the strategic plan to all stakeholders.