By Olimatou Coker
The National Council for Civic Education (NCCE) commenced a 6-days-regional interface and dialogue between security forces, youths and relevant stakeholders.
The week long dialogue funded by the UNFPA and held at the Governor’s office in NBR is organised under the theme; “Strengthening Relations Among Stakeholders in Promotion and Maintenance of Peace and Security, Post Presidential and Parliamentary Election.
This initiative is aimed at promoting healthy relations, mutual understanding, peaceful coexistence and collaboration between the civilian population and the security forces in the maintenance of peace and security in the post presidential and parliamentary elections as well as the impending Local Government Elections.
The engagement is also envisioned to help build the capacity of stakeholders on peace building, conflict management and prevention.
NCCE senior program officer Ansumana Ceesay, said the activity involves six (6) interface dialogue sessions to be held in the North Bank Region, Central River Region, Upper River Region, Lower River Region, West Coast Region, Kanifing Municipality and Banjul and will target about 270 participants from the security institutions, youth groups, CSOs and pressure groups among others.
“Coming from two hotly contested elections (presidential and parliamentary) while preparing for 2023 Local Government Elections makes it even more crucial to continue to have continuous civic conversations for citizens to be reoriented, sensitised and educated on their civic rights and duties to increase awareness and encourage participation in peace building initiatives, conflict prevention and management,” Ceesay said.
He added that NCCE engages in a variety of civic education activities to not only enlighten and inform citizens about their civic rights and responsibilities but also to build capacities for active and inform participation in national discourse and initiatives, as well as remind them to ensure the rule of law, peace and stability prevails.
The senior program officer expressed optimism that these youth and security dialogues will identify current and emerging challenges that could jeopardize national security and offer recommendations that will be critical in consolidating democracy.