In every country in the world, there is a civil society that plays a very important role in the progress of the nation. The work of the civil society can make a huge difference in every aspect of the nation’s development (politically, socially and economically). In fact, where there is a weak or ineffective government, it is the civil society that picks up the pieces. It is the civil society that works to ensure that democratic rules and norms are followed.
There are many examples in Africa where the role of the civil society helped prevent actions of disregarding the constitution. Civil society acts as watchdogs for the maintenance of law and order. The civil society helps in sensitizing the people on their roles and responsibilities. Civil society gives the population in a country civic education to enable them have voices that will be heard by the leadership.
The civil society in the Gambia played a pivotal role in making sure that the will of the Gambian people is respected. When the last elections were conducted and there was an impasse, it was the civil society that stood its grounds and led the population in a resilient struggle to ensure that their decision was respected and put into effect.
Having changed our government through peaceful means and installing a new government which promises to be democratic in all aspects, the civil society’s role is now even more pronounced as they have to ensure that the government of the day does not leave its track and fall into the chasm of misrule.
The meeting this week with Gambian-Swedish MP, Momodou Malcom Jallow will be beneficial to civil society organisations in the Gambia as it will expose them to his wealth of experience from Europe from which they will be able to tap. It will also raise the profile of the Gambian Civil Society.