US-based Gambian launches democratic foundation


By Omar Bah

Lamin Keita, a Gambian based in the United States has recently launched a mega project in the country dubbed ‘Gambia democratic development fund,’ GDDF.
The mega project which was launched on Friday in Manjai Kunda will focus on reconciliation, development initiatives, education, migration and host of other community intervention areas throughout the country.
In his launching speech the founder and CEO, Lamin Keita said as a political scientist after visiting various political institutions during his stay in the Gambia, he realized that the country still lacks the understanding of democracy and political maturity.

“This is how it became of interest to me to form this movement geared towards helping my people to better understand what democracy is and how to go about it. My belief is that, if the country is going to develop its people should be politically mature and democratically oriented,” he said.


He said the movement which is already registered with the Ministry of Justice will contribute immensely in empowering Gambians, especially the young people who are the present and future leaders.
“We also believe that if the young ones are well trained on their rights and responsibilities they would be able to challenge their leaders and as well demand their rights when they are seized from them,” he said.
He said the movement is also non-partisan and has nothing to do with politically motivated issues, “all we are interested in is to ensure that we help the country in its developmental aspiration and as well as to ensure that there is sustainability of the development that we gained.”

“Unifying the country is going to be our main target, because we believe without unity we cannot achieve our dreams. We also want to give special treatment to women,” he said.
On the areas of voter education, Keita said the movement will work in close collaboration with the NCCE to ensure that they break the barriers within the electorates.

“We want to ensure that these electorates are trained to the extent that, the issue of supporter Y or Z because he/she is a Mandinka, Fula or Jola would become the thing of the past in the Gambia,” he added.
In conclusion, Keita called on the government to embrace the people of Foni, “I believe the government should reassure the people of Foni that their rights and property will be protected in the new dispensation, isolating them is not a solution to the problem.”

The secretary to the movement, Cherno Sillah said the movement’s activities will focus on completing government’s efforts by giving democracy a chance to flourish in the new dispensation, “in trying to achieve our dreams we will work with other partner institutions to ensure that our aspirations are met.”