By Omar Bah
The Vice President, Dr Isatou Touray on Thursday presided over the launch of the Geneva Center for Security Sector Governance (DCAF) sponsored immigration project for The Gambia. The project is designed to strengthen the efficiency and accountability of the Gambia Immigration Department (GID).
The project will also enhance and improve GID’s overall governance framework in the management of border security, and support its efforts to become more accountable to the government and to the local communities it serves.
In her statement, Dr Touray said: “The project endeavors to promote GID personnel’s respect to professional standards through strengthening internal oversight framework and mechanism.”
She said it will also strengthen the leadership and management system of the GID, with a view to maximising its capabilities and capacities, thereby improving the efficiency and utilization of its resources.
“When we were taking office in 2017, it was clear to the government that we were taking over a security sector that had been deeply politicised and not responsive to the needs of Gambian people,” VP Touray said.
This, she added, “led to the government coming up with a clear vision, which states, “A security sector that is effective, efficient, apolitical, affordable, accountable, transparent and responsive to the security and justice needs of the people based on democratic norms and principles.”
She said the DCAF intervention would address some of the “critical gaps” in the GID legal and policy framework as well as support the institution and other security institutions in the country.
Vincenzo Mascioli, director for International Affairs, State Secretariat for Migration Switzerland, said his organisation’s partnership with the Gambia “is a long-term partnership; aimed at helping the Gambian youths to acquire requisite skills and knowledge in different fields”.
He said his organisation operates based on trust, reliability and the spirit of partnership.
“Partnership to us means we look at our cooperation from a long-term perspective. It is in that sense, Switzerland might be able to support the Gambian path of a young democracy by supporting you in terms of building and developing your institutions. This important project is part of that support,” Ambassador Mascioli said.
Seedy Touray, the Director General of the Gambia Immigration Department (GID) highlighted the importance of the project to the daily operation of his institution.
“This is an important breakthrough in the history of our partnership DCAF, which is the leading centre of excellence in justice and security sector governance,” he said.
To ensure effective implementation of the project, DG Touray added: “I carefully selected two senior officers with the requisite skills, knowledge, competence, and of course experience in strategic management, immigration planning fields to serve as project focal persons to create an interface between GID and DCAF”.
“The GID is fully committed to this project,” he intimated.
The DCAF Immigration project is funded by the Swiss Confederation and implemented by the Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF).