By Alagie Manneh
Vice President Ousainu Darboe said yesterday that his government still attaches special emphasis on the restoration of democracy and human rights, nearly two years after the end of ‘tyranny’ in The Gambia.
He said the country is “excited” about the process.
He was speaking at a UNFPA change management workshop designed to introduce a systematic approach to dealing with the transformation of the organisation’s goals, processes and technologies as tools for implementing strategies to effect, control and ensure communities adapt to change.
We [the people and government of The Gambia] have to focus on restoration of democracy, human rights and justice for all,” the VP said as he declared the workshop opened.
He said: “The timing and choice of The Gambia as the host of this very important meeting is quite significant. As you all know, we as a country are currently in transition following 22-years of autocratic rule. UNFPA, we are excited about this change process that we as a nation are going through and are following a carefully crafted National Development Plan which has been aligned to the 4 pillars of the AU roadmap on harnessing demographic development through investments in youth.”
He said the UNFPA and his government have a long-standing relationship, which dates back over four decades, saying: “During this period, we have found you to be trusted allies interested in the development of The Gambia specifically in the areas of health, youth and women’s development.”
The Vice President also paid tribute to the UNFPA Gambia team for the “significant role” they played in the development of the NDP “especially in ensuring that they support the President’s vision in ensuring that the issues of youth and women are adequately captured as key priorities of the government.”
Acknowledging that women and girls are key partners in achieving sustainable development, VP Darboe reiterated his government’s readiness in continuing to create an enabling environment for their economic and social growth.
The Kairaba workshop brought together UNFPA Country Representatives from over 20 African countries and attended by the agency’s Regional Director for West Africa.