By Ousainou J Sawaneh (Prince Ojee)
City Link Ostend-Banjul, under the Banjul City Council has recently launched the good governance component which is one of the component of the project, seeks to support and strengthen the urban governance capacity of Banjul City Council and aims to make Banjul better prepared for the future.
According the officials the project consists of five components: 1.Good governance: strengthening the urban governance capacity of Banjul City Council
2.Establishing a sustainable development centre on Crab Island: a hub of creativity, gardening, enterprises, renewable energy and much more!.
- Transforming and improving the city waste management system.
- Greening the city: coconut trees on the beach, mangroves in Tanbi Wetland Complex, trees in the city.
- Improving access to health care at Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital
The launching was join with the closing ceremony of a 3-day capacity building program for the Councillors and support staff of the City Council under the Good Governance component of the “City Link Ostend-Banjul” Partnership for sustainable development which is fully funded by European Union.
Giving his statement European Union Ambassador to The Gambia, His Excellency Attila Lajos extends gratitude and appreciation to the Banjul City Council and the City Link Ostend-Banjul Project team for the grate job, “I am impressed with the different level of activities implement by the Future Prove Banjul, from grinning the city to the creation of sustainable development on the Crab Island and I welcome the fact that good governance is central to everything that is plan under this project. No activity, no intervention can be successful if it doesn’t have good governance at heart” he said
Ambassador Lajos reiterated that for the European Union it is very important to empower the local authorities adding that the Future Prove Banjul project gives unique opportunity to strengthen good governance, “there is a question what does good governance really mean? We always use democracy and good governance, but what does it mean for the people?” he asked
He said “it only means to reach People with your services, to serve your People and better services delivery by making sure people have trust I their elected leaders and the administration that served them and I see that going in the face of Banjul City Council” he stated.
He also said “serving the people and the citizens also means being sensitive to the needs of vulnerable groups like women, children and the disabled, taking their needs in to consideration is crucial component to deliver service efficiently” he said
EU Ambassador reiterated the importance of decentralization and the responsibilities of the local government Act 2002, saying the local government Act 2002 stands under different Political era but has kept it relevance today in guiding the local authorities in its actions.
For this reason, Lajos expressed confidence in the future of local authorities and the future of Banjul adding that only by working the greatest transparency and willingness to inform the citizens so that good governance can be better realize, “I task you to always keep your people inform and to prevent them becoming misinform” he challenged.
Mayor of Banjul City Council, Ajaratou Rohey Malick Lowe also expressed gratitude and appreciation to European Union Ambassador for his efforts towards the project, “I am grateful, and thank you very much His Excellency Attila Lajos, you will leave your name in the History Book of Banjul and I will live to remember you for empowering my people” Lowe thanked
Madam Lowe expressed the fact that the relevance and importance of good governance cannot be down played by any institution that seeks to serve it’s Community diligently, “an organization like Banjul City Council needs good governance to preserve and strengthen stakeholder confidence” she stated.
Lowe said Good Governance is key in any sustainable development adding that she believe all the participants were able to learned new ways and means to implement tangible programs and better policies for the people of the City.
“I believe the Councillor’s are now ready to use the tools of good governance to provide the frame work planning, implementation and monitoring of performance to achieve our goals in serving our people” she said
Giving the overview of the good governance components, Project Coordinator of City Link Ostend-Banjul Mamlie Jassey highlighted the significance of the training, “the Councillor’s have been trained on key areas related to their job and the training covers: decentralization, governance, service delivery and citizen engagement, council management, leadership, strategic planning and policy formulation and COVID-19 and way forward” he said.
He further reiterated that the training is timely and very important as it did not only help burst the ………. level of the council adding it will help them balance their job under the context of good governance.
Jassey added that the objective of the project is to strengthen urban governance capacity of Banjul City Council by developing efficient service delivery.
He also expressed appreciation to the European Union for funding the project.
Certificate of participation were handed over to each participant at the end of program.