By Isatou Jawara
Gamworks in partnership with SMD, a policy management consultancy firm, has organized a weeklong capacity building programme on leadership and management development for senior staff of the local government authority.
The training progromme also included financial and project management, forming part of the project under which Gamworks is implementing the Rural Infrastructure Development Project funded by OPEC Fund and the Government of The Gambia.
The purpose of the training is to enhance the management skills of the senior staff.
While delivering the opening remarks the Minister of Local of Government and Lands Hon Lamin Dibba said the capacity building programmes for the local government authorities are to enhance the management skills, knowledge and capacities of the senior staff entrusted to lead the affairs of the Authority.
“The Gambia is on a new development trajectory. The Government places great importance on local governance and the decentralization of government policies and programmes. The new government believes that development means improving lives of the urban and rural population in the country. Development should also be determined by what the communities see as their needs, not programmes or projects upon them from the Government,” he added.
According to the Minister, the leadership of the local government authorities has a critical role to play regarding the need for new approaches, taking up rightful responsibilities, accountability and inclusiveness of all the social groups and high levels of community involvement in the planning and implementation of priority development projects.
“This is no longer business as usual, the local councils will now deliver results.
“This training programme came at an appropriate time of our country’s development history. I urge you participants to actively gain maximum knowledge and skills. My Ministry will continue to support the local authorities,” he said.
The Director General of GAMWORKS Mr Ebrima Cham also speaking at the training, said: “Gamworks has a strong partnership with the Ministry of local government and lands over the years through the implementation of many projects such as the Community Infrastructure Livelihood Improvement Project (CILIP). Capacity building is one of the core competences of Gamworks and we will again successfully implement this project.”
Mr Sana M Darboe, a public sector reform specialist and CEO SMD Consultancy, said: “We have done the capacity building with local government authorities with various governments. When we heard management crisis at GAMWORKs years ago I was appointed as caretaker director with the then Government and the World Bank.
“It was a challenging moment but I am glad today we have saved this institution which was about to collapse 12 years back. I can see laudable strives GAMWORKs is making today and hope we will be able to achieve our expectation.”