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MUNG holds seminar on pressing issues to shape future

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By Olimatou Coker

Model United Nations Gambia (MUNG) has over the weekend held a seminar and engaged experts on some pressing issues that shape the future of the state at the American Corner in Fajara.

MUNG is a registered non-partisan and non-profit organization.

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Dr. Ismaila Ceesay, the Minister of Information, spoke on the role of information in governance and democracy, saying through information citizens can have their government accountable but citizens must also participate in governance and democracy. “And when we say that participating in governance and democracy doesn’t only mean in elections, some of you are passive citizens and what we are looking for are active citizens”.

He added that citizens must be proactive by constantly reading newspapers, constantly knowing who their law makers are, constantly knowing who are cabinet ministeries and what is the budget and  in the budget how much is the tax and non tax, grant, loans and how much is spent in each sector.

He said transparency is the cornerstone of democracy and accountability.

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“So the Ministry of Information has made it a priority to enhance transparency through regular updates”.

He noted that information empowers citizens to engage in the democratic process. “When individuals are well informed about their rights and responsibilities and the working of their Government, they are more likely to participate in civic activities such as voting, attending town halls and engaging in public discuss. Citizens participation is not just about casting a vote but  it is about continuous engagement”.

He said that is why as a ministry, they don’t only bring information from government to the people but they also bring information from people to government because the government must know what the young want and what are their aspirations.

“Information is not just a tool but a pillar of governance and democracy, it promotes transparency and accountability. It also encourages citizens to participate; it ensures community wellbeing and strengthening democracy institutions”.

Modou Musa Sisawo, the Public Relations Officer of the Gambia Police Force, spoke on the role of police to mitigate and reduce drug induced crimes.

“We have seen a lot of drug induced, drug related crime in this country. It’s no surprise that there have been drugs in this country, drug abuse and peddling, but the manner in which it is today is of great concern to all of us as Gambians and we gather here today this evening as Gambians and as concerned citizens for a way forward.”

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